Album Review: Girl Band – 'The Talkies'
Four years after their ‘Holding Hands with Jamie’ debut, Rough Trade signed Girl Band release ‘The Talkies’, an album so devotedly anticipated it became, un-anticipated.
Like the notional mindset of how chewing gum during revision will keep your memory at its sharpest for the real thing, if you are what you believe then with this main event Girl Band are salivating challenged chunks. This record is so physically and mentally focused that, as an itchy scalp of discorded specifics, it feels as though the Dublin based four piece progressively lose restraint with each and every total body, head and shoulders centred scabbed scrutiny and instead, gain untimely scratched satisfaction as with time any second album jitters are left to flake away.
Growling as a proud beast driven to entertain a Key of A attack on the best and worst of its own demonic character, our first captured breath from this new lifeform is just that. A living deep breather, slow healer born prematurely out of an in-session panic attack, Prolix is a subconsciously looped reminder that we all need to take a step back for this is not going to be an easy listen (and in hindsight we all knew it never would be). Coming in at the rawest of angles- the most human and exposed it’s a no brainer that this could well be one of the technically gnarliest of the years releases so far.
If formerly released singles Shoulderblades and Going Norway have already, in their own rights, left mismatched bread-crumbs down the un beaten path for where this rallied journey is headed and so brashly, it’s now up to the remaining ten tracks to thumb their own way through visceral uncertainty. Not ones to shy away, the task to hand seems to be to combat further spouts of delirious motion-riffed-sickness by ranking up the trigger points. Aibohphobia is a mission to pronounce and a whole other reverberated ball game as it engages devotedly in its own absonant to structural un-structure whilst Laggard is so consistently drilling it almost takes a turn for the relaxing. With sputtering’s of Barbie and Ken, potentially religious geese and routine musicianship, The Talkies is a possessive game of risk with a Buddhists pronoun-less intolerance towards the ‘I’ or the ‘mine’.
Second to last track Prefab Castle is just over seven minutes long, an actuality almost to be un-expected at this stage of ear shattering exhaustion yet undeniably ‘on-brand’ for a band who gloriously appear limitless. This is not another example of anything and yet somehow Girl Band have once again made us feel at home.
Words by Al Mills