Girlpool : 'What Chaos Is Imaginary'

The LA indie-rockers make their return.

With the addition of fresh instruments and new ideas, Girlpool’s What Chaos Is Imaginary embraces change but often finds itself in quiet indifference. Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad are Girlpool. The longtime friends began their musical journey with razor-sharp folk punk, calling out things like slut-shaming. The two added a drummer on 2017’s Powerplant leaving their sound open to melancholy jangle pop and Britpop memories. On Chaos, they continue walking that path with surprises on the way. 

‘Chemical Freeze’ finds solace in patience. The track slowly sinks into the void after a lengthy guitar outro, while ‘Roses’ boasts a revered soaked drum under a mountain of guitar distortion. The title track is undoubtedly the album’s heart and the band’s most vulnerable piece yet. 

However, there are some cuts that fall back to that mid-paced, ‘90s alternative sound that Girlpool now dons that don’t bring anything new to the table, including ‘Hire’, ‘Lucy’s’, and ‘Swamp And Bay’. It’s nice on the ears but the formula is too predictable. Luckily, Girlpool show elsewhere that they can break out of that dull rock sound and conjure songs with distinctive personalities.