Go Betty Go is a four-piece, all girl punk rock band from Southern California that was formed in 2000. They have released an EP with the appropriate title Reboot. It’s appropriate, as the original lineup of band fell apart in 2005, and recently reformed in 2012.
The album blasts off with By Your Side, a decidedly unromantic tale of why “I won’t be by your side—I can’t be by your side.” One of the ethos of the early punk movement was that the quality of the musicianship was less important than the attitude and message of the song itself. That spirit lead to albums that, while full of fire and fury, were almost unlistenable walls of sheer noise. By contrast, the girls in GBG retain that drive, but are also serious about their musical chops. Drummer Aixa Vilar propels the opening tune with a frenetic urgency, accompanied by bassist Michelle Rangel and guitarist Betty Cicneros.
The vocals are a break from punk rock past in that there’s (thankfully) not a single scream on the EP. Lead vocalist Nicolette Vilar pushes without straining, and each song features impressive vocal harmonies.
The band produced a video to the song It Haunts You Now, which is a song with a unique stop-start hook that repeats throughout the song, and instantly grabs the listener from the get-go.
A special treat is Tartamundo, which is a cover of the song Stutter, released by Elastica in 1993. Sung entirely in Spanish, it sounds so damn cool in that language that it really doesn’t matter if you only understand a few words here and there. Rock is the universal language, right?
Cemetery Stone brings the album to a peak, and is then followed by an interesting song to close the EP. Where I Sleep has a very different feel from the other songs due to Cicneros’ clean, jangly guitar tone compared to the heavy, distorted power chords of the other songs. The band might cringe at the comparison, but the tune is very reminiscent of the style of the Go Go’s and the Bangles—which is not necessarily a negative thing.
Support your local musicians by downloading this album and Rebooting your record collection. Your hard drive may not notice, but your ears will definitely thank you.