Pitchfork loves Girls. KEXP and SPIN love Girls. And so you’ve got to be asking yourself, which is it – great new band or flash in the pan? The truth is, your first listen to Girls’ new album, Album, will reveal that much of the buzz is actually accurate – the surfer/slacker songs are indeed sparse and breezy, replete with gentle guitar tones and springy melodies that recall, yes, Phil Specter, the Beach Boys, and the golden days of California in the ‘60s. The record has peace, love and harmony written all over it. More importantly, though, frontman Christopher Owens more than lives up to all the indie-press hype – despite the songs’ cheery sounds, Owens’ vocals are lugubrious and open-faced but stop short of being pathetic. From the shivering guitars of “Morning Light” to the current single, “Hellhole Ratrace,” in which Owens somewhat shamefully confesses, “I got a sad song in my sweet heart…I don’t wanna cry my whole life through,” the music fairly bleeds out of your speakers. The critics got it right this time. With Dominant Legs. E. THOMPSON

Tue., Nov. 17, 8 p.m., 2009

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