[13 January 2010]
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.