Music groups disband all the time, and Girl broke-up right when they could have become huge. The band cites a variety of reasons for the break-up including poor management, bad A&R, and a lot of drugs, specifically heroin. I find this a little ironic if Phil Lewis was dabbling in heroin and, years later, replaced Paul Black in L.A. Guns because he had a junk problem. Of course, I don’t know any member of Girl personally and wasn’t around, so I don’t know if Phil – or any other member – was really doping. As it stands, several factors contributed to the break-up of Girl right after the release of Wasted Youth. While Girl was no more, Jet Records still had plenty of new material and eventually released Killing Time around 1987. The track listing for Killing Time looks like this:
Nut Bush City Limits
Mad For It
Make It Medical
Nothing But the Night
Big Night Out
Love Is a Game
Sound of Cars
You Really Got Me (Kinks cover)
Killing Time is an odd little mix of tracks. Perhaps this is because the songs were never recorded for a future release and were outtakes of the Sheer Greed and Wasted Youth sessions. Believe it or not, a highlight is the Kinks cover of “You Really Got Me.” It’s pretty true to the original, while maintaining a unique sound. “Mogal” is interesting in a post-hippie, New Wave of British Heavy Metal sort of way. The album’s title track is somewhat predictable for a Glam release, although I can see how this song would be suitable for a proper album. It has a harder edge and some good drum work. In some ways, it’s like listening to very raw L.A. Guns. Other times, it seems the song is a throwback to classic rock. It’s interesting to note that all week, I’ve been immersed in my Girl but haven’t really noticed a connection between the band and Def Leppard. While I can hear L.A. Guns in nearly every track, I really have to strain for some early Lep. I’m not sure what that says about Phil Collen and Phil Lewis respectively. Perhaps Collen is more of a collaborator in Def Lep, or able to break boundaries more freely? Maybe Lewis really did write a lot of early L.A. Guns songs, or he helped shape the guitar mastery of Tracii Guns? Whatever the case, it’s fascinating the listen to the musical progression of Girl, Def Leppard and L.A. Guns.
Back to Killing Time. In the way of rock, “Lucky” has a solid tempo and Lewis stylistically croons his way through the groove. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Phil is singing or speaking, but he gets a pass because he’s British and accents are hot. Not to be outdone, “Love is a Game” is even better. Here, the production sounds a little better than “Lucky” and the guitar work and backing harmonies are impressive. This song sounds like it was intended to be a radio-friendly single. Oh, what might have been had the planets aligned.
Editor's note: I wonder if Janet Jackson ripped off the Killing Time cover for her multi-platinum, self-titled release.