We like The Preatures. The Aussie band have impressed us in the past either by being a rollicking riot (Better Than It Ever Could Be) or going straight for the heartstrings (Two Tone Melody). Either way, their guitar-driven sunshine gets more purpose on Girlhood, a record that sees them go further down rock – and rockier – territory.
It takes a while to become re-acclimatised to The Preatures, in that it’s still quite hard to know what role they’re filling. The title track kicks thing off but almost feels quite slight given its title; there are no deep reveals here, no noteworthy insights that we haven’t heard before or others aren’t doing better. Even their chords seem run-of-the-mill, a crime that this genre really doesn’t entertain well.
Things perk up with the light synth of First Night and the more playful throwback of Yanada (featuring a heartwarming use of Indigenous language), but the latter in particular sounds sub-Haim at a time when even Haim are being, well, sub-Haim. “Do you believe in magic?” they then go on to ask on Magic – we want to, we so desperately want to, but halfway through the record and there’s very little of it to boast about from The Preatures.
It sounds like we’re being a bit too harsh on a very talented band – it’s not that this is a bad album, it’s just painfully boring. Slower numbers like Your Fan don’t pop (though it does have the loveliest vocal performance) and it’s only Mess It Up that recalls some of their wonderful, charismatic former glory. Worth a cursory glance, then, but Girlhood does neither its authors nor that eponymous journey any great justice.