London Girl erupted from the post-emo, post-Riot Grrrl scene of quickly growing Houston, whose clubs teemed with bands that attempted to merge new wave, synth-punk, garage rock, and so much more into a blend of raucous power and wordplay, DIY amateurism and undeterred fun.
Drummer David Skins (Ensminger), who has edited books for Gary Floyd (the Dicks), Peter Case (the Plimsouls), TSOL, and MDC, among others, was their firebrand drummer. Their sound was uncanny and original, messy and lighthearted, punchy and rooted in everything from Sarge and Sleater Kinney to B-52s and the Go-Go's.
In early 1999, a guy walked into a Jimmy Eat World gig in Houston's ozone night, scrounged for free lukewarm pizza, and saw the future of pop music, not in those boys from Arizona, but from two girls dancing next to him who loved to hear the sound of two guitars clashing. In early 1999, the same guy walked into a garage practice space in the immigrant section of Houston and saw the future of pop music, not in the hard-working guys who fixed TVs in a 10 x 10 oven that cost a hundred bucks a month, but in a kid with a mop of blond hair and a surfer's tan who liked David Bowie and Royal Trux. In early, 1999, that guy walked into this same garage and saw the future of pop music, not in the stacks of fast-food cartons and naked overhead bulbs, but in a redhead from Kansas who was sitting on a rolled up, dingy piece of carpet, humming DB's songs and dreaming about the love life of the Go-Betweens.
London Girl was born. That line-up released London Girl Sings For Fun in 1999 and began to gig across Houston opening for acts like Red Monkey (UK), Daniel Johnston, Ann Beretta, and Bis (UK), gaining fans for their mix of pop anthems, punk energy, and total DIY attitude. The bass player and keyboardist left during the early stages of Lost and Found, replaced by Johnny Pneumonia, and they finished the sessions at Static House Studios, where Biscuit of Big Boys would soon record as well. With a true underground ethos, they self-booked a tour across the West, where they landed at Al's Bar in Los Angeles, but soon shattered after arriving home. Drummer David Skins would eventually become an author of six major books (PM Press, Microcosm, etc), edit Left of the Dial magazine, and play drums for Biscuit, Gary Floyd, Mish Bondage of Sado-Nation, Jeff Smith of Hickoids, Mydolls, and more.
But for two years, they burned hard and fast, harmony-laden and melodic. And as their first album announced:
They are the sweet raw hallucinations of a Casio SKI wet dream.
...of the rocket fire throttling of a light blue guitar that can crush boys.
...of the du-blat, du blat of a cheap drumset made from [rusted] technology.
...of the tender and primal voice of a former Riot Grrrl gone pop mad.
...of the white purrs of a bass plumbing the depths of six speaker heaven.