Published Aug 21, 2020The thesis of Girl Friday's debut LP, Androgynous Mary, isn't hard to decipher — and that isn't a bad thing. It's clear they're fed up with the patriarchy when they sing, "Does the average man feel like he's on the outside?" on "Public Bodies."
The straightforwardness of Androgynous Mary is part of the appeal for the L.A.-based rock band. Pissed off after a lifetime of being gaslighted, they sing bluntly, "When I say I'm in pain they don't believe it," on standout track "Public Bodies".
Girl Friday use their compelling songscapes as a bedrock to support their lyrics and themes — their disillusionment with normative society. Androgynous Mary takes you on a merry-go-round of sonic diversity. Girl Friday slash their way through indie, garage rock, punk and back to indie, before settling somewhere that resides somewhere outside traditional song composition.
As the album progresses through diverse textures, the project reaches its emotional peak halfway through with "Earthquake." Over the top of a heavy-metal like riff, the band chants, "I just wanna feel like an earthquake / Everything is boring for fuck sake." While simultaneously commenting on our instant gratification culture and the pigeon-holing of disenfranchised people, Girl Friday find a way to make their music fun and ecstatic. At the same time, the themes are thought-provoking and profound.
That dichotomy keeps Androgynous Mary engaging. The buoyant drums and driving guitars retain energy throughout the album, while gloomy lyrics cast a murky shadow over everything. Girl Friday doesn't allow you to consume their music conveniently; you have to recognize the group of people who made it. They speak bluntly, demand respect, equity, and play a ton of enjoyable music. (Hardly Art)