Friday, 3 May 2013

Girl Band - France '98

EP review by

You know how it feels when one of those bands come along and you love them so much that you hunt down everything and devour it? In olden days it was hunting out singles, tracks on cassettes on the front of magazines. Today it's a quicker hunt to find the treasures. Girl Band are one of those bands. EP 'France 98' rips open with 'You're A Dog'. It has blatant early Nirvana dynamics and they've mastered the Cobain drawl with mesmerizing effect. Beyond the obvious touchstones 'You're A Dog' comes on all Stooges with Melvins sludge; underlying all of this is an irresistible grunge groove to dig into. 'Busy At Maths' is all jagged, alt rock. A raw, intoxicating  grind of noise. It utilizes those feared loud/quite/dynamics, not in some copycat way, but interjecting a deft change of pace into a beautifully brutal song. Deeper and heavier, 'That Snake Conor Cusack' is more relentless. Barely controlled, cracked, vocals drag you into a cathartic bastard of a song. It has marks of Irish peers Therapy? and the forgotten Kerbdog. It ends in the scream of feedback that such a song only should.

At 1:17 feral, punk blast, 'France 98' is a short, sharp, stabbing blast of fury. And truly doesn't outstay its welcome. A swift, bloodied palette cleanser for the outstanding 'Second One'. 'Second One' is a blazing raw-throated howl of a tune. Girl Band hit a sound all of their own, sometimes echoes of 'Goo'-era Sonic Youth or The Strokes if they ever really gave up their facades. That said 'Second One' isn't in thrall to anyone, hearing it brings to mind the excitement felt when we all fell in love with 'that' band. This is loose, passionate, has an irresistibly that just can not be ignored. Is this the soundtrack we've all been yearning for? It just demands you to listen over and over, and over. Slower and more dirge-like than the flash-bombs of 'Second One', 'Handswaps' is no less richer in its rewards. A Killing Joke bass crashes into a wave of majestic noise and cracked vocals howling "where once see a love". This mantra floats over the shock and awe of the track, climaxing the EP in perfect fashion.

Once you've caught your breath hunt down more....
In the punningly-titled 'Quompalation', Girl Band may just have given your their 'Endless Nameless', eight-odd minutes of splenetic noise and vitriol. Then there is this April's 'In your Head', but I'll leave that for you to find. Girl Band have laid down a sonic template that entices and demands you to listen, and almost makes your ears bleed. Not that you would care if they did.

Girl Band's website

Stream or buy the EP

Catch them live:

May 03 Prince Albert, Brighton, UK
May 05 Camden Crawl Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

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