Marine Girls, Lazy Ways/Beach Party

Lucy O'Brien

By Lucy O'Brien

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The band that gave Tracey Thorn her start.

The Marine Girls were three Hertfordshire schoolgirls who recorded their first album, Beach Party, in the garden shed. Early tracks sound amateurish, with some work needed on the harmonies, but the blueprint was there for a new strand of soulful English girl-rock. Singer/guitarist Tracey Thorn went on to form Everything But the Girl with Ben Watt, and collaborate with Massive Attack, while sisters Alice and Jane Fox created ’80s band Grab Grab the Haddock with Lester Noel (Beats International). The sharpest tracks on this compilation, like “Love to Know” and “He Got the Girl,” foreground Thorn's distinctive, husky voice, with Jane Fox playing a soft Lou Reed-style pulse on bass, and her sister Alice adding quirky percussion. Their Cherry Red follow-up, Lazy Ways, was more musically developed, with each song a quietly defiant meditation on love and loneliness, and their vocals spot-on.