The release of We're Already Gone and Water (a compilation), in the U.S. saw the beautiful girls morph and trim their touring party slightly. In a "back to their roots" move the band, who have worked with a series of different instrumentalists (including harmonica players, a brass section and keyboardists), toured the U.S. as a three piece. They added a keyboard player for their home tours.
The 'We're Already Gone album has enjoyed international success and raised the profile of the band considerably in the U.S. - and the response to this album there, both by the crowds and the press has been fantastic. Because of it the band have featured in ex games dvd's (through Canada and the U.S.), full page articles and the albums (both WAG and Water), continue to sell well.
On their second attempt to get into the U.S. this year the band though, the band were stopped at the border and not allowed in. The subsequent ban will see them out of the US for a year - the band anticipate being able to re-enter the country in the summer of '07. The band accepted the ban though, and made the most of the time without touring commitments by coming back to aust and recording the next album.
This album, titled ziggurats, and to be released in early to mid '07, will further add to the beautiful girls reputation as musical shape shifters.
It is, perhaps fuelled by the border crossing controversy, a tighter and punchier sound album.
Taking the some of the elements of white reggae that the band flirted with on We're Already Gone and combining them with an energy rush that moves away from roots and into a post punk style, nodding to influences from the clash and dexy's midnight runners thru to the police.
The band emphasis evident on the last album is also prevalent in the new songs, although the rhythm section is sharper again than on that recording. And once again there are a series of collaborations. This time featuring keys, a brass section, a some stunning melodica.
Even though it has a mix of songs and styles (including a South African cover from the eighties), ziggurats is likely to be considered the bands first straight ahead album - the intensity of the performances giving it the bands strongest sense of purpose yet.