NOT UR GIRLFRENZ // “NEW KIDS IN AMERICA” - EP REVIEW

NOT UR GIRLFRENZ - “NEW KIDS IN AMERICA” - EP OUT NOW!

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9.5/10)

Liv, Maren and Gigi are a power pop, rock trio from Texas who are known collectively as Not Ur Girlfrenz. On first listen, knowing very little about them, it was nice to pick out influences ranging from All American Rejects to Avril Lavigne and maybe even just a touch of Veruca Salt.

The opening track “Warped” kicks things off with a high energy drum and guitar intro before evolving seamlessly into the first punchy verse.  This is already immediately catchy and becomes more so as we hit the chorus.  The whole thing is as infectious as it is absorbing and you can’t help tapping along to the tracks spiralling intensity.

“No One Asked You Anyway” is equally as impressive and stands up against material released by the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Paramore.  It’s probably here we can hear just how accomplished songwriters and musicians they are.  The drums and melodies are lofty and pack a real punch.  I’ve heard a lot of bands try to write this type of music but it’s been a long time since I have heard one be so successful at it. 

Did someone mention Sum 41?  

The next track “New Kids In America” borrows the shouty rap style from the 1980s Beastie Boys and more recently Sum 41.  At times it feel like it was written 15 or 20 years ago but then immediately feels fresh again.  If I had to be picky this is probably the weakest song on the EP and feels like the chorus arrangement could almost be slotted into a children’s TV show.  That’s by no means a slight, it just didn’t feel as spontaneous as the previous two tracks.

“Somehow” is an acoustic ballad that shows the diversity of their songwriting craft.  Liv’s vocals are impeccable and more powerful here, it gives us yet another glimpse of what is to come from this band.  As a ballad it fits well on this record but it might be even better placed on a full length album where there’s more room for a departure from the pop punk anthems.  That said, I am sure it will be a firm fan favourite for the sing-alongs. 

The closing track is “Friends or Memories” which is yet another solid chunk of rock.  It continues to build towards a finale that fuses their own style with some contemporary and some nostalgic guitar work.  It completes this all too short record perfectly and I guarantee you will find it difficult to listen to these five tracks without a huge smile. 

I was in two minds whether or not I wanted mention the bands age. I didn’t want to undermine how well this record has been put together.  

Part of me thinks that it shouldn’t matter how old they and in this case it really doesn’t, absolutely no allowances are necessary.  This is a crowded genre of music and they not only stand shoulder to shoulder with their peers but are looking over the top of some.  The fact we have two fourteen year olds and a twelve year old producing music to this level is outrageously impressive.  I am literally blown away by how confident this record sounds and there are bands who’ve released albums before this entire band were born who might want to sit up and take notice.

Needless to say their talent has already caught the eye of many people, one of them being singer songwriter Jaret Reddick and you can catch Not Ur Girlfrenz supporting Jaret’s band, Bowling for Soup, across the UK in November and December.

A lot of fun and a near perfect debut. 

REVIEW BY: ALAN WHITFIELD


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