Foggy Notions & U:MACK presents: Girls Against Boys

Date: 01 Dec 2022
Time: 8pm

Foggy Notions & U:MACK presents: Girls Against Boys

House of GVSB 25th Anniversary, Main Venue, December 1st

“Their songs are mostly combinations of three or four killer riffs and a juggernautlike groove” – Rolling Stone
“the great ’90s post-hardcore thud-masters” – Stereogum
“A pathbreaking hard-rock opus that plays like one long money shot”
SPIN #5 Top album of the Year.

Seminal post-hardcore band Girls Against Boys will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their critically acclaimed album House of GVSB with a double-vinyl re-issue of the album via Touch and Go Records. The LP will be in-stores on May 6. Side A and B are the original album remastered in 2021 by Bob Weston (Shellac). Sides C and D features tracks from the band’s 90s era work including b-sides, singles, compilation songs, and a previously unreleased recording. Pre-order House of GVSB (25th Anniversary Edition) 2XLP here. Order the bundle containing the vinyl and a t-shirt here.

To celebrate the release of House of GVSB, Girls Against Boys will be playing the album in full (as well as other songs from across their catalog) on a fall tour of the U.S., rescheduled from their original winter routing. The dates kick off on October 1 at Doug Fir in Portland, OR and conclude October 15 at the Black Cat in Washington, DC. Along the way they stop in Los Angeles, Chicago and Brooklyn. The dates mark the band’s first US tour since 2013. Additionally GVSB have confirmed select European dates starting July 8 at Boskovice Festival (CZ) with additional shows in Austria, Germany and Italy. The run concludes at the new Pukkelpop Belgium event, Here! Here! Festival, on August 14. All previously purchased tickets from the original tour will be honored for the new U.S. shows and all dates are listed below. Tickets are available here.
Girls Against Boys (GVSB) first recorded in 1988 as a studio project before evolving into a full-time band in the early ’90s. All four members (Scott McCloud, guitars/lead vocals; Eli Janney, keyboards/bass/backing vocals; Johnnpy Temple, bass; and Alexis Fleisig, drums) were participants in Washington, DC’s punk music scene. From the start, GVSB utilized an unusual mixture of instrumentation for a band with punk roots, including keyboards, samples, as well as two bass players on many songs.
After an EP (featuring fellow DC musicians Brendan Canty and Amy Pickering) and a full-length LP on Jeff Nelson’s Adult Swim label, the band fully relocated to New York City and soon joined the roster of Touch and Go Records, with a handshake agreement to do three albums together. Upon the release of their critically acclaimed Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby album in 1993, GVSB embarked on seemingly endless rounds of touring in the US and Europe, sharing stages with the likes of Fugazi, Helmet, The Jesus Lizard, and Jawbox.
The following year Touch and Go Records released Cruise Yourself, and the band once again found themselves touring the world. This time the audiences also consisted of representatives of every major record label, all trying to sign the band.
“It started to be one of the main things we’d talk about in the van: do we really consider signing to a major label or not?” McCloud remembers. “Finally it became clear that although we had a lot of trepidation, it was something we were probably going to do.”
McCloud called Corey Rusk from Touch and Go Records from a truck-stop payphone to discuss the situation. GVSB then decided to honor the handshake agreement and release its next album on TG before releasing anything with one of the major labels. House of GVSB was that final record for the label. (The next album was on Geffen/Universal, who won the bidding war.)
Recorded in 1995 at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ, with producer Ted Niceley at the helm, House of GVSB captures the four-piece at the zenith of its musical prowess. Among other dynamics, the album has a simmering anxiety throughout, a kind of vertigo, a taste of what the band was actually experiencing at the time.
About the LP and the lead track, “Super-fire,” SPIN said: “A fast metal-chime guitar riff (like a snippet of Big Black or Killing Joke) repeats four times, then heavy drums surge in along with two thick bass lines, the guitar switches to a sticky wah-wah drip, and Scott McCloud adds his flat speak/sing (like Mark E Smith of the Fall, but under light lyrical control), mouthing “nothing satisfies” with enough pump and angle that the sentiment isn’t hackneyed—just another needle under your skin. The 40 minutes that follow these 40 seconds feature multiple surges just as utterly convincing, it’s the biggest, most contemporary-sounding, and physically enticing hard rock anyone is offering right now.”
Additional lyrics on “Super-fire” include French idioms about losing one’s mind: “nothing in the lemon” (rien dans les citrons) and “spiders on the ceiling” (araignées au plafond). These phrases—which McCloud stumbled upon while on tour in France—contribute to the sense of alienation, bewilderment, and fascination on the album.
“The Kinda Mzk You Like,” with its funky drums and two basses, describes a fictional meeting of nightlife revelers on an imaginary dance floor. “Disco 666” and “Vera Cruz” up the ante on electronic instrumentation: dance music played by live guitars, basses, keyboards, and drums. The album closer, “Zodiac Love Team,” provides a flickering soundtrack to an imaginary film, taut with menace, implied violence, fear, and yes, a certain touch of beauty.
Girls Against Boys released Freakonica (Geffen,1998) and You Can’t Fight What You Can’t See (Jade Tree, 2002) before calling a hiatus from recording in 2003. GVSB has periodically re-emerged for touring stints (most notably for an EP in 2013 The Ghost List) and all of the band members remain active in musical and artistic pursuits: Johnny Temple founded his publishing company Akashic Books, Eli Janney currently plays keyboards in the 8G Band on “Late Night with Seth Myers”, Alexis Fleisig has taken his photographing skills to new levels, as well as drumming for the likes of Obits and Bellini, and also plays in Paramount Styles, together with Scott McCloud, who now lives in Vienna, Austria.

House of GVSB remains probably their most favorite album.

Girls Against Boys is, as of now, working on new material.

Girls Against Boys Tour Dates
01 December DUBLIN, Ireland – Workmans Club

03 December LONDON, UK – The Garage

Praise for House of GVSB

“mesmerizing” Rolling Stone

“Terminally tense singers and guitars that resemble low-speed power drills may be alterna-rock clichés, but the droners Girls Against Boys make those elements sound fresh and musical on House of GVSB. Credit goes to the group’s two-bass-guitar attack, which gives the songs a propulsive kick, and to singer-guitarist Scott McCloud, who’s so tightly wound that a trip to an ATM (”Cash Machine”) nearly sends him over the edge.” Entertainment Weekly

“House of GVSB saw the band continuing its winning streak” All Music

“House of GVSB is the most luridly thrilling LP I’ve heard this year. It’s less revenant to tell you what it sounds like than to warn you how it’ll make you feel, how it rips through you like Ebola, hypes the room, your head, the moment with electricity, seems somehow less a ‘document’ than something to be passed underhand with a lookout at the alley end and then slipped under the tongue. Cuz its a straight fix to the head” NME

“The best thing about New Yorkers Girls Against Boys is that they never subscribed to any rules but their own. Their resolute self-identity has meant they can turn the muckiest, murkiest riffs into something howlingly sexy. You may not always understand the train of thought in Scott McCloud’s growling vocals, but the fact he resides permanently in his own episode of the X-Files is to our benefit.” Vox

“Utterly distinctive, seedily seductive and, frankly, magnificent neon-lit groove monster …”
Kerrang UK