REVIEW: GRLwood – “Daddy”

sonaBLAST! Records

I can’t remember the last time an album was so highly anticipated in the city of Louisville, and now that GRLwood’s debut offering Daddy has at last hit the streets, I’m happy to report that the anticipation is well deserved. Even as this band have seemingly been playing shows daily around town for the last year or so, they’ve continued to draw a crowd. They’ve blown our minds live, and now we get the chance to experience it anytime we need to with their debut album Daddy. Perhaps the best part about  is that it’s not far from the live show.  The album was recorded live in a single day at La La Land with Anne Gauthier. You read that right, 11 songs in one day. Naturally, this album is about as true of a representation of this band as you could possibly expect.

We’re really able to see the endless well of potential from GRLwood on tracks like “Wet” and “Communicate With Me” where Rej Forester’s voice reaches operatic notes that I’ve never heard in real life before seeing them live. They are two very different tracks — “Communicate With Me” is an epic, reverb soaked trip and “Wet” is a frolicking, punk rock explosion. Both songs feature the same simple formula however with sick riffs, incredible vocals, and the perfect drum section.

Speaking of the perfect drummer, Karen Ledford doesn’t get recognized enough for what she is doing in this band. GRLwood doesn’t have a bass player but she is able to fill that space and play in a way that you don’t miss the bass at all. This isn’t like The White Stripes where Jack White was filling the bass players space and Meg White played exactly what was needed on those songs. Karen plays the role of both bass player and drummer on this album and she fucking rules.    

GRLwood are a self-described “angry lesbian, genderfuck punk band.” I don’t typically get into a band’s story when reviewing an album as I prefer addressing the music as its own entity. Having said that, the band’s anger can be felt from start to finish. Their life experiences and the music on Daddy are symbiotic in a way that is rare; Kurt Cobain’s songwriting comes to mind. This is an album that at times can be angry, sad, and whimsical simultaneously with tracks like “I’m Yer Dad.” Sure, it can be funny hearing Rej belt out silly lines about sports, cars, and having a big dick, but it’s also about toxic masculinity and the patriarchal society we live in.

. Kudos to them for being able to laugh in our faces about it.

Listen to Daddy below in its entirety below via Spotify.