As of April 18, the band Girl Scouts has a total of six songs released. The tracks are spread out over two, two-song EPs, one single release and a song called “Grist Mill Daze,” which was recently included on a 75-band-deep compilation appropriately titled “The BIG Comp.” The song is a demo of one of five new songs that will be compiled onto a five-song demo in the summer.
“And then we tour,” P.J. Carroll, sophomore anthropology major and vocalist and guitarist of Girl Scouts, said drearily. He doesn’t sound like a man excited at the prospect of touring rooms for weeks on end, even if a fair amount of those rooms might now be filled with the people who have steadily grown to become a modest fan base for the band over time. His tone betrays his thoughts though, and Carroll said he can’t wait to be on the move again.
“We’re looking to go out Midwest and back,” Carroll said. “I’m really excited about it. I want to be playing music as much as possible and to be at other places than here for a little bit. We have the dates all set for two weeks in August, and we’ll have the EP done by then too.”
Girl Scouts began as a five-man band called Pursuit, which, over time, evolved to Girl Scouts in January 2011, with Tyler Minford on drums, sophomore mechanical engineering major Logan Zoghby on bass and Carroll on the aforementioned guitar and vocals.
The handful of songs that currently comprise its discography are aggressive and fast, but in a way that invites the listener inward instead of scaring them off with a flurry of technicality.
A song like “Don’t Curse In Front Of the Boys Goddamnit!” finds the band sending notes in all directions at the beginning then locking into a wood block-assisted groove tightly and not letting go until the song’s end. It should also be noted that the song’s only lyrics consist of the band members shouting their own names and then, almost mockingly, “We’re all p——!” before diving into a cathartic-feeling shuffle-groove.
One severe roadblock Girl Scouts has faced thus far in its years together is bouts of trial separation, as Minford attends Shippensburg University, which is roughly 150 miles away from the other two-thirds of the band.
“[Minford] could only come up a day or two at a time, which was frustrating and difficult sometimes,” Carroll explained. The wrong has been righted, however, as Minford is planning to transfer to Temple at the start of the fall semester. Carroll said he is sure that once they are united, they’ll be able to get more done.
This is certainly not to suggest that the band has not stayed active despite lapses of time between releases. Girl Scouts has built a reputation for itself in the city as a band who that should be seen live when possible. More times than not, the band finds itself on bills filled with bands comprised of friends.
“Oh, there’s so many,” Carroll said. “I love playing with Marietta, Alex G, Bleeding Fractals, Nicknames…there’s just so many, I’m going to leave people out.”
Though the band mostly plays DIY shows in basements, living rooms and wherever else with a sturdy power strip, Carroll agrees that there is still a need for traditional venues like The Fire and Kung Fu Necktie.
“Venues can offer bigger touring bands money to come through and have local bands open for them,” Carroll said. “The Fire especially has been putting on a lot more local shows lately…They’ll lower the ticket prices for all-local bills and get 100 people there.”
Though the band has only just started to hint at what its summer tour will look like, most, if not all, of the dates will be house shows. Between the band’s time in flux, though, Carroll will remain busy. The residents of his abode, the MySpace House, will be departing in the summer, so he will try to execute “at least one or two” last shows as a swan song, he said.
Girl Scouts’ music is available at girlscouts.bandcamp.com.
Kevin Stairiker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.