Review: Gloom Girl MFG Sneer, Distort, & Destroy Their Nashville Roots on Brilliant EP ‘Polycrisis’

Polycrisis - Gloom Girl MFG
Polycrisis - Gloom Girl MFG
Despite being from Nashville (or perhaps in spite of it), Gloom Girl MFG’s sophomore EP ‘Polycrisis’ is full-on riot grrrl fun and fury.
Stream: ‘Polycrisis’ – Gloom Girl MG

It’s not surprising to say that 2024 will be remembered as the year that country went national, maybe even international.

While the gold rush started when Lil Nas X blew up overnight, any year that Beyonce puts out a record is that genre’s crowning year. Add in Lana Del Rey’s rumored Lasso and it’s officially the genre of the moment. Everyone wants to don spurs and a stetson.

Well, nearly everyone.

Polycrisis - Gloom Girl MFG
Polycrisis – Gloom Girl MFG

True to form, Nashville’s own Gloom Girl MFG aren’t cashing in on their city’s big moment in the spotlight, but rather going their own way. There isn’t a hint of their hometown’s sound on their latest EP, Polycrisis, but rather it’s drenched in a slithering sexiness reminiscent of the ‘90s riot grrrl movement.

A band with endless potential, their rise since their 2022 formation has been rapid and deserved. Cage the Elephant’s Brad Shultz, who produced Polycrisis, concurs: “It’s so inspiring to be involved with an artist in the midst of them truly exploring, finding, and pushing the boundaries of their sound.”

Gloom Girl MFG © Elizabeth Marsh
Gloom Girl MFG © Elizabeth Marsh

What is most exciting about the band is the multiple directions their EP goes in, while never losing the sense of who the band is. That’s not an easy feat for any band, let alone one in its infancy. The sonic glue here is lead singer Paige MacKinnon, whose snarling vocals drip malice and charm into every bar. Delivered with a sneer, MacKinnon sounds like that girl who used to sit in the back of class mercilessly mocking, no target safe from her laughing vitriol. Look no further than the satirical takedown of modern it-girl culture, “Bougie Girl.”

I’m a big Boujie Girl
So have me over
For a cup of tea
My cousins rich
And eloquent
She married in and got herself
Bigger tits!

The repeating refrain of “My house is bigger than your baby mama′s dreams” is the perfect encapsulation of the song, and a great symbol of the lyrical wizardry happening here.

Gloom Girl MFG © Elizabeth Marsh
Gloom Girl MFG © Elizabeth Marsh

Elsewhere, “Damaged” is a slowed down but still vicious track.

“‘Damaged’ is about being birthed from death,” says MacKinnon. “From which we’ve no choice but to move forward, often damaged, then healed, then damaged again. The ultimate Polycrisis wrapped up in the ultimate Gloom Girl MFG ballad; let us reintroduce ourselves.”

It’s a mid-tempo reprieve from the opening two-song blast, but the slower speed spares the listeners nothing. MacKinnon’s vocals still sting like a slap on cold skin, while the distortion lands like sandpaper. It’s a combo that serves Gloom Girl MFG well. Add in the catchy — borderline anthemic — chorus, and it feels readymade to be screamed in grimy basement bars and on festival stages everywhere. Elsewhere, “Batshitorette” is pure unadulterated punk fun, while closer “I Love You” borders on a ballad. And somehow it all suits them.

Gloom Girl MFG © Elizabeth Marsh
Gloom Girl MFG © Elizabeth Marsh

Although only six songs — and 19 minutes — Polycrisis covers a lot of ground, both musically and lyrically.

It’s a record that doesn’t feel remotely Nashville, and yet Gloom Girl MFG are representing the city’s underbelly. And honestly, they’re just getting started.

— —

:: stream/purchase Polycrisis here ::
:: connect with Gloom Girl MFG here ::

— — — —

Polycrisis - Gloom Girl MFG

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? © Elizabeth Marsh

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