By Steve Weinstein
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A '90s underground It-Band makes peace
GVSB did that one-off at the 2006 Touch and Go fest, then a few shows in Poland and Russia in 2009 "because we never played there and it was a great opportunity," McCloud says.
And then, around January 2012, Janney contacted him to see if he was interested in singing on some circa 2003 songs that Janney had squirreled away on his hard drive.
"They sounded like something Girls Against Boys would have tried at the time, and I was like, 'I love this,' so that was how we all started talking about getting back together and doing more than we'd done in a long time," says McCloud.
The four got together at a Manhattan studio in January of this year and recorded three of those old songs and two brand-new ones, all of which appear on the new Ghost Line EP, a collection that bears all the elements of classic early/mid-'90s GVSB. Put simply: It kills. Like recent output from Mission of Burma and Dinosaur Jr., it augurs well for the band's second act.
Yow—who also knows a little something about watching his well-regarded noise-rock band disintegrate and then reform a decade later—says he was thrilled that his old friends invited him to sing with them at the Bowery Ballroom show and the handful of other East Coast dates GVSB lined up. "I love those guys," he says. "I've heard people say that some of the music the Jesus Lizard did was sexy—I don't know if I necessarily concur with that, but I do think a lot of the Girls Against Boys music is sexy, and it's sorta like a slinky, slow groove instead of fast, dumbass punk."
They teamed up for a show in Austria in May, and in New York they're slated to play a couple of Jesus Lizard songs, a couple of GVSB songs, and maybe a cover or two together during the set.
"I don't want to step on their musical toes," says Yow. "I'm not gonna knock Scott over and pour beer on Eli's keyboard. But it's gonna be fun and hopefully entertaining for the morons in the audience."
The creative tension in GVSB is still there, says McCloud, and the fruits of their recent time together have him figuring they'll keep GVSB active as a recording and touring unit going forward "as long as it makes sense to us."
"It's something that we invested so much time and energy in, and it felt like it kind of didn't reach its full potential, and that's always something that you carry around with you," McCloud says of the past decade spent away from GVSB.
But now, having let go of GVSB as the sole vehicle for their livelihood—and with the youthful desperation of a band sweating and bleeding to make it replaced by a sort of middle-aged pragmatism and self-assuredness—"The new music's better because we don't have those worries, and we just do it because we love this music and missed playing it and it's still meaningful to us," says McCloud. "All that other stuff just falls away. It's just to do it for its own sake, and I'm really happy that we did it."
Girls Against Boys perform at Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday, September 11, with David Yow.
Fantastic four:Girls Against Boys