theShirlies: Review

Printed in Good Times, January 3, 1996 : p7
By Ethan Kendricks

San Diego's theShirlies are probably one of the few local bands that has its own five-page newsletter. In (the newsletter) readers and fans alike can filter through the band's newest bits of information in various columns like "Glen's Colon."

The current incarnation of this Ocean Beach-based alternative rock band includes Mark Sgarbossa on vocals and guitar, guitarist Jeff Trageser, bassist Glen Gorham, and drummer Rytch Dhu.

Together, Sgarbossa and his bandmates arenÃt the least bit hung up on penning tunes with heavy themes or trying to save the world. TheShirlies' unapologetic love for the simple pleasures of pop offers its members an artful release with no strings attached. If anything, theShirlies' surf-guitar twang has some definite ties to the legendary, post-punk band, the Pixies.

"We made a conscious effort to write straight pop-type music." says Sgarbossa, during a recent interview. "I do most of the lyric writing, but we're starting to share that a little bit more. A lot of our songs are about space and stuff."

TheShirlies first single, "Little Fat Policeman," was loosely based on a '60s children's song. But the band also delights in tweaking its pop songs to fit its shared interests in otherworldly phenomenon. The subject matter dances from anecdotes about test monkeys lost in space ("Loopy") to a riff about horse racing ("Hoof") using names taken from a racing form.