I liked Past Time Grass Widow’s previous album but I thought it was slightly inconsequential — the right elements were there but something felt missing. Such is not the case with Internal Logic easily the most accomplished record yet from this San Francisco post-punk trio. Here just about everything — instrumentation songwriting and especially a nigh-overflowing wealth of troika vocal harmonies — is in top form. Guitarist Raven Mahon’s presence is sharper than ever even toeing into late-’80s Sonic Youth territory at points (e.g. the last half of “Goldilocks Zone” “Whistling in the Dark”); likewise Lillian Maring’s drumming has become noticeably more assertive. The strongest point however is that generally no single person stands out — there is no lead vocalist and each member contributes vocals more or less equally either in harmonious unison or in lush multi-pronged directions.
Here’s the thing: these vocal harmonies are staggering. Most bands might struggle to come up with even one or two of the multi-part harmonies on here but Grass Widow decided to pack each song on this album with at least three. Take the array of simultaneous vocal lines on “Milo Minute” the gorgeous layering on “Under the Atmosphere” even the “la la las” of “Spock on Muni” — Grass Widow’s wholly distinctive vocal presence takes this set of hooky songs and turns them into something exceptional. Frankly I can’t think of a better new record to hang with this summer.
Stream Internal Logic below courtesy of Stereogum .