The Morning After Girls – Prelude: EP’s 1&2 (Rainbow Quartz Records)

Critics have often used the term “derivative” when talking about Dig! co-stars The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, yet there’s been a recent groundswell of bands from across the world that could easily be seen as derivative of the two of them. This can be a very good trend if it produces bands like Australia’s The Morning After Girls. Their debut album collects their first two EPs, splitting time between Dandys’ drone-pop like “Run For Our Lives” and “Always Mine”, and the BJM-esque junkie-folk of “Interlude” and “Lazy Greys” (which also comes close enough to Spacemen 3’s “Feel So Good” that Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember is thanked for inspiration in the liner notes). This is not to suggest that any of these songs are anything less than great. Ride’s Mark Gardner even shows up to lend his voice to the ambient interlude “Fall Before Walking” though you’d be hard-pressed to recognize it. Regardless of who they sound like, The Morning Girls have talent to spare, and on tracks like “Hidden Spaces” (which features beautiful cascading harmonies that few bands these days would attempt), or the throat-shredding grunge of “Hi-Skies”, they manage to inhabit a world all their own. Expect good things from them in the future.