Angela Penhaligon’s moniker Piney Gir (pronounced with an affected Kansan drawl to become “girl”) releases a stomping countrified affair of lovable (for a time) circa ’60s pop numbers on Geronimo!, her fifth studio recording.
Abandoning her Country Roadshow backing band this time around and replacing them with members of Brian Wilson’s backup, alongside other musician friends, Penhaligon, now settled in London, ventured back across the Atlantic for Geronimo!’s recording in Hollywood.
There’s a charming naivety and girlish wisdom in places and in others a touch of girl-rock in the style of Best Coast, along with similarly cutesy lyrics, particularly on opener ‘Outta Sight’. ‘Oh Lies’ returns to the folkier roots of Piney’s beginnings with combined harmonies and a slower tempo, but ultimately the album flits between the dusty plains she left behind and the light-hearted twee rock combo she’s created here.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the use of percussion, xylophones, maracas and boy/girl harmonies to create a liveliness and buoyancy that keeps spirits high throughout. That said there are moments when this wanes, leaving Geronimo! a touch frustrating (so saccharine it becomes sickly) while at other points it feels a bit like a joke: ‘River Song”s hoedown violin midway through feels almost a parody of what roots music should be. Perhaps better off seen live, I’m sure she’d make an adorable performer but there’s only so much twee you can handle of your own volition.
Geronimo! is released on Damaged Goods in the UK (24 Oct 2011)