A band who have taken influences from many different artists and genres but end up sounding like absolutely none of these influences is a rarity these days. Girl Band are one, and their debut LP Holding Hands With Jamie is a record of originality demonstrating the demented and belligerent nature of the Dublin four-piece.
Opening with ’Umbongo’ and ‘Pears for Lunch’ – two staggering tracks brimming with a feverish energy – with the latter combining pugnacity and ferocity with frontman Dara Kiely’s twisted sense of humour (alerting us to his penchant for masturbating over Top Gear) as he howls like a wounded beast over the pounding guitar and drums. ’Paul’ continues the mess with a genuinely terrifying, droning bassline grating with abrasive drums to create a macabre sound writhing with brutality. The record, in some ways, is a testament to Kiely who suffered a mental breakdown after a particularly messy breakup, undergoing periods of euphoria, believing he was God and could control the weather. This mania is reflected heavily in the music, continually teetering on the edge of all-out sonic destruction but manage to reel it in, largely down to Kiely’s vocals, notably on ‘Fucking Butter’. This is an album of unparalleled aggression and danger, yet an odd beauty can be found among all the frightful tension. You’d be hard pushed to find a guitar band, or in fact any band at the moment, as exciting as Girl Band right now.