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Girls in Trouble

Girls in Trouble

(JDub; US: 3 Nov 2009; UK: 3 Nov 2009)

The premise behind Girls in Trouble’s self-titled release is straight out of those “what if” comic books from back in the day with a religious twist. Helmed by singer/songwriter/violinist/guitarist Alicia Jo Rabbins, the band brands itself on this ten-song album as what would happen if the women of the Bible got together and started an indie rock band. Each song takes a different Old Testament tale with a female protagonist and turns it into a kicky neo-folk ditty. Girls in Trouble’s simple, folk instrumentation is ripe with influences from around the world, including Jewish and even Venetian-sounding tapestries of sonic bliss. (Check out the gorgeous violin solo on “Hunter/The Bee Lays Her Honey” for a prime example.)

If you didn’t know the album’s underlying concept, the themes aren’t obvious, making the disc enjoyable in a (mostly) secular sort of way, too. The beautiful, tinkling “Snow/Scorpions and Spiders” is one of the only pieces that it’s obvious which Biblical babe the song is about, focusing on Miriam, the sister of Moses. Most of the disc’s other pieces tell the tales of more obscure women of the Torah, such as the maudlin “Mountain/When My Father Came Back” about Jephthah’s daughter—which shares sacrificial similarities to the story of Abraham and Isaac minus the happy ending. Overall, Girls in Trouble puts a fresh twist on ancient stories, as well as folk music in general.


Lana Cooper has written various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2006. She's also written news stories for EDGE Media, a nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues. In 2013, she wrote her first novel, Bad Taste In Men, described as one part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-'90s. She lives in Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, and avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transportation. A graduate of Temple University, Cooper doesn't usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio.

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