When it comes to marketing in music today, what is seen is just as important as what is heard. An artist’s image is seemingly vital to success. Although, imagery can also be a double-edged sword with the capability to ruin the picture the listener has in his or her head; much like seeing a novel adapted to film. Girls Bite Dogs may sound like the next sexy, all-girl pop group, but this outfit from Barcelona uses visuals as much more than just a marketing weapon.
Girls Bite Dogs is a project from self-described “visual musicians.” The act’s main creators are producer Flavio Ferri and filmmaker Fabrizio Rossetti. The album, Greta Quit Ironing is a collection of 13 songs written along with 13 videos. Eight female singers appear on the album, each from different countries. Each video is used to tell the story of the album. While the album is available on Spotify, you may find it easier to grasp the album’s concepts if you listen on YouTube.
Many of the videos that have been released, such as The usual happy day and Ozono, feature images of a female carrying out daily activities while set to a soundtrack of electronic pop. My Name Is tells the story of Greta who is “really happy.” The song’s lyrics talk of how she loves her physical appearance while showing various women taking selfies. The video ends with a smartphone being thrown away, appearing to make a statement on addiction to social media.
Some of the songs are written in the native language of the singer, which makes gathering a meaning a bit of a task. However, the theme is always clear: feminism. For example, in Over Rated a woman is seen smashing a male mannequin with a bat and dragging it away. Ferri has somewhat elaborated on this in a past interview with Fame Magazine when asked about the band name:
“The idea of calling the band Girls Bite Dogs comes from Fabrizio Rossetti, the other 50% of the band, I would say he’s the creative mind of the whole thing. The name comes from a belgian black comedy of the [90s] called ‘Man bite dog.’ The movie tells of a film crew that follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand. We are the film crew and our singers are the killers, female killers fighting against a men’s world. It’s very political.”
The music is not really what stands out most. In fact, it takes a back seat to the videos for the most part. Only one song on the album reaches past the four-minute mark. There are a few moments where the instrumentation really grabs the listener, such as the use of the xylophone in Down 13th or the piano accompaniment in Yellow, but most of the songs are minimalistic and what one would expect to hear from a techno track.
This album is intended to be a journey – a journey that is as visual as it is sonic.