Kate Nash will kick your ass – as soon as she’s done painting her nails. She’s has just cause, considering she spends almost the entirety of her fan-funded third LP, Girl Talk, getting fucked over, disrespected, and ignored by members of the opposite sex. But this isn’t new territory for Nash, who made her bones back in 2007 poking fun at her goofy-yet-relatable boy troubles on tracks like the irresistible “Foundations“. This time around, though, she’s ready to fight back. She’s traded cupcakes for tragus piercings, her acoustic guitar for an electric bass, and died her hair black.
And she’s pulling it off. Backed by a new all female band, Nash mixes liberal arts college feminism with pop-leaning punk riffs. She grits her teeth and sings from the gut, crossing the threshold into straight up screaming more than once, channeling her inner Courtney Love. “Fri-End” is a peppy hate letter to a former pal, and “Sister” sounds like she decided to have a heart to heart sob session after about eight pints of beer and a few Bikini Kill records.
If Nash had called it quits after “Rap For Rejection” (yes, she does rap, and it’s actually not that bad), Girl Talk would have been much better off. At 15 songs and 52 minutes, it’s far too long. By the album’s final quarter, too many other ideas creep into the mix, like soft ballad “You’re So Cool, I’m So Freaky” or closer “Lullaby For An Insomniac”, which is completely a capella until an orchestra appears out of nowhere at the last minute.
Ultimately, like any 25 year old, Nash is still figuring herself out. She’s far from grown up, sure, but isn’t the journey always more fun that the destination?
Essential Tracks: “Fri End”, “Sister”