Comments: Recently, I rented a PT Cruiser for a 300+ mile trip from Philadelphia, PA, to Rochester, NY. After spending over four hours with the damned machine, I am confident when I say that the PT Cruiser is the worst fucking car I've ever driven.
Released by Chysler in 2000, then again in 05, the Cruiser was launched as a retro style wagon for a new age, a modern reinterpretation of a classic. Upon their release, the hype along was enough to generate interest in the car buying public, with resulted in a lot of people driving these monstrosities and regretting it for the rest of their lives (or so I assume).
It's not that the car itself is especially terrible. Its not an altogether a dysfunctional machine. It will get you from A to B. It's the little things that ruin this car and make it a disaster.
Here 's a laundry list of design problems, just off the top of my head. The lack of cruse control. The window controls being located on the radio console (this little foible had be groping around the car like a thumb-less teenager dealing with a bra strap when it came to pay the tolls.) The interior light gauge is located on the steering column, making it impossible to change brightness without flashing the turn signals. The headlights are weak. The car as downright laughable acceleration. The mirrors are adjusted with little sticks on either side of the car, so god help you if you are driving alone and want to change your right-hand mirror.
The point (which took me four paragraphs to get to) is that the PT Cruiser can get you around if you are willing to put up with a lot of nonsense that will just remind you of other, better cars.
I mention all of this because I feel the same way about Women's self titled debut album. The Calgary four-pieces' album is a throwback to sixties touchstones like The Beach Boys and Pink Floyd with a modern low-fi production similar to bands like No Age and Japanther, and while poppy, psychedelic low-fi might sound good on paper, Women falls short at every turn.
The album is a reminder of other bands who are doing the same thing better. Women is full of watered down moments from other bands who have perfected the craft that Women are stumbling to create. Echoes of Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Liars, Brian Wilson era Smile and the aforementioned 60s psych-pop are littered throughout the album, but never with the strenght or the success of the source material.
Women's sole successful moment comes on the one minute album opener "Cameras," which is able to combine low-fi surf pop, rich with cavern-deep drums and ghostly vocal melodies, with slight dashes of experimentation and psych. The song is a 60 second joy, excellent for the first track as it excites the listener and makes them want more. Sadly, it's all down hill from there.
Like the PT Cruiser, Women will get you from A to B, but with so many better options, so many better ways to enjoy the ride, the only real thing that will carry either is hype.
Rating: 4 out of 10
Key Tracks: Cameras
Buy, Steal, Skip: Skip