For no reason that I can actually take credit for, I feel pretty proud of these ladies. They live intentionally, they defy stereotypes, and they harmonize while rocking. In 2010, Grass Widow also had its major-indie debut on Kill Rock Stars â€” one of the few San Fran stars that can make such a claim â€” with Past Time.
The album opens with surf-rock-y â€œUncertain Memory,â€ where Hannah Lewâ€™s bass lines and Raven Mahonâ€™s guitar riffs intertwine, while Lillian Maringâ€™s frantic drumming hurtles the songs forward. It is followed by single â€œShadow,â€ which showcases their affection for the Kinks along with the bandâ€™s aforementioned blended vocals singing the phrase â€œdonâ€™t let me down.â€ â€œFried Eggâ€ starts with a call-and-response verse, reminiscent of the bad-ass-ness of the Kill Rock Stars banner, and then surprises the listener with chiming post-punk guitars and saccharine vocals that sing of murky nightmares. The album closes with â€œTuesdayâ€ a swift number with wooly harmonies, fast-tempo chants as well as a little chaos with its off-kilter melody progression.
With each listen, the hooks on Past Time reel me in more. But itâ€™s the sweet and sour taste of Grass Widow that always gets me; how can something be so dark â€” with the horrors of the subconscious seeping in at every crackâ€”but sound so pretty? This may be Grass Widowâ€™s first Kill Rock Stars release, but itâ€™s their fifth-record in less than three years. I can’t wait to hear what this prolific band releases in 2011.