Tag Archives: girl band

Experiential Review: Girl Band, Paul

It’s hot; really, effing hot.  Sweat runs in rivulets down your back, sides, forehead; the back of your thighs.  The dank, still air of late summer envelopes you; a shroud, creating the sweat-stained outline of your human form in the soft pleather chair.

Outside, the urban thrum of car horns, jack hammers, sirens.  Closer in, a soft whisper comes from a box fan sat in the window on the opposite side of the room, it’s scant breeze causing barely a ripple in the heavy air.  Yet, this sound holds promise: the promise of moving air, however stale, however ripe with heat and the tang of perspiration and garbage, however leaden with asphalt and exhaust.

You inch closer.  Visions of trade winds; relief.  The fan’s soft purr becomes a drone, then a whirr; a building crescendo.  The once faint breeze now feels like a wind tunnel, buffeting your face as you lean in, closer…the sound now sending vibrations through your skull.  You smile, eyes closed, at the first patter of sweat beads on spinning blades.  The cacophonous wind – you let it wash over you, let it draw you ever closer, like a cartoon character floating on waves of aroma from a freshly cooked chicken.

The song is “Paul”.  The band is thegrindinghalt.com fave and pride of Ireland (ok, we think they should be proud), Girl Band.  Taken from forthcoming, debut full length “Holding Hands With Jamie”, out September 25 on Rough Trade (available for pre-order here in the US and on Rough Trade’s UK webshop).  The video is above, and is fantastic.  If you haven’t (and why not?), check out Girl Band on Facebook or their website.

Spotlight Dance: Girl Band

I’ve been onto this band since last summer.  No excuse why it’s taken me so long to get ‘round to writing something about them, but my recent good fortune seeing them absolutely destroy the stage opening for Viet Cong had me at least attempt to get some thoughts on (virtual) paper.  These guys are a breath of wonderfully sweet, stale, fetid air drifting forth from a newly opened basement, and should be experienced.

Girl Band are a four-piece hailing from Dublin (Ireland, not Ohio) who make an insanely appealing racket.  The music is tightly wound, claustrophobic, often without a cathartic chorus or change of key to relax the mood – you sit there, fidgety yet transfixed, until it stops.  Noise built around chaotic rhythms tripping over words that start out mostly stream of consciousness and then dissolve into yelps, howls and shrieks; guttoral discharges often signifying much about the emotional impact of the songs themselves.

The Wonderful and Frightning World of…-era The Fall, Ideal Copy-era Wire, the Throbbing Gristle of “Discipline (Manchester)”, elements of techno, drone, no wave; newer bands like Prinzhorn Dance School or Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster (RIP) – a swirling eddy melting through a cacophonous gloryhole of sound into your waiting brain.

Their earlier, self-released singles have been collected and released (cheekily, given the band was “founded” in 2011) as The Early Years on the fabled Rough Trade, which will also release their debut full length later this year (September, possibly).  Highlights include the churning, chugging “De Bom Bom”, “Lawman”, and their cover of Blawan’s techno slice “Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage”.  If you can still find a download of the singles, the b-sides (particularly “Heckle the Frames”, from “Lawman”) are also splendiferous, as are earlier songs like “Busy At Maths” from France 98.  Gotta catch ’em all!

Challenging, rewarding.  Not often you can say something is overly “unique” these days – this is one of those times.  If they’re playing out anywhere near you, do yourself a favor and go see them – footage (courtesy of Youtube) of them playing in-studio for KEXP below for your aural and visual pleasure.

Go like them on Facebook and support them on Bandcamp – now!  Website here.