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.