It's been four years since Girls Against Boys released Freak*on*ica, a weird hardwiring of indie-punk abrasion and big-budget techno. While that album polarized the band's fan base, its new release, You Can't Fight What You Can't See, returns GvsB to the post-Killing Joke/Scratch Acid school from which it was graduated. But not without a twist: Besides boasting the most powerful production of the band's six-album oeuvre, You Can't Fight is also the catchiest batch of misanthropic disco-punk anthems since Gang of Four's Entertainment.
Girls Against Boys began in the mid-'80s as the edgy D.C. post-hard-core group Soulside. Besides sharing a zip code and a record company with Dischord Records' legendary Fugazi, Soulside sought to create a similar amalgam of dub-fucked rhythms and mangled guitars. After regrouping as Girls Against Boys in 1990, the band migrated to New York City and began tinkering with mutant forms of synth-and-sample-driven hard-core.
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After an unhappy indenture with Geffen Records, GvsB is now signed to the renowned independent Jade Tree, and the band's new record is a raw hunk of bludgeoning industrial, slinky sensuality and pure pop that references everyone from Big Black to Psychedelic Furs. In concert, the band utterly annihilates; the inherent conflict of this group's live show is not so much "girls versus boys" as it is "you versus pissing your pants." We recommend wearing black.