Girl Band - The Talkies - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Girl Band - The Talkies

by Kevin Orton Rating:8 Release Date:2019-09-27
Girl Band - The Talkies
Girl Band - The Talkies

Girl Band’s sophomore effort, The Talkies, kicks off with some heavy breathing. That’s pretty much all ‘Prolix’ is, outside of some synth pulses but the masturbatory implications are clear. A charming start before the onslaught of, ‘Going Norway’. A furious blast of ornery angst. Unlike a lot of acts around today, Girl Band doesn’t have the burning need to be liked. But there’s definitely something going on in between the ears. I confess I had to look up the definitions of the song titles. But must say the music owes a lot to The Fall. Lots of wordplay and lots of abrasive Post Punk noise. More than anything, The Talkies reminds me of The Fall’s 1983 masterpiece, Perverted By Language. Only a lot meaner and more pissed off. That’s not to say, they’re being consciously derivative. There’s nothing contrived going on here. But no band’s sound is created in a vacuum. I also hear a lot of Wire, Neu, James Chance and Bad Brains.

‘Shoulderblades’ pretty much continues in the same vein as ‘Going Norway’. The sound of a pissed off Mark E Smith kicking some junkyard scrap around to a tribal beat.  Lyrically, nothing jumps out at the listener, just the general sound of being hollered at. The jaded cynicism of ‘Couch Combover’ has some vintage Pixies dynamics at play. When not howling like Black Francis with one foot on fire, garbling out some choice prolix gibberish. Full of sound and fury one minute and then bringing it down to a lone drum stick the next.

According to its textbook definition, ‘Aihbohphobia’ belongs to the family of fictional phobias, specifically, the fear of palindromes. Musically, its pure savagery. ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ grinding guitars and torrential downpours of feedback. Lead singer, Dara Kiely doing his best, Mark E Smith with a mouth full of marbles. On ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ he manages to touch on Peter Murphy Bauhaus territory. Another in a line of fierce, uncompromising tracks in this aural slaughterhouse of an album. The delirious, long siren howl of ‘Akineton’ serves to keep the listener on edge.

‘Amygdala’ is a bubbling stewpot of grunts, disgusted screams and patter. ‘Caveat’ by contrast is danceable noise that eventually erupts like an aural flamethrower. If you’re finding The Talkies, a grating experience, it's purely intentional and ‘Laggard’ isn’t taking up the slack any more than any prisoners.

‘Prefab Castle’ brings things down to meandering chatter and ambient noise. But like much of this grouchy album there’s not much to hold on to or curl up with. And this is clearly intentional. This album is an urgent, ill-tempered assault. One that doesn’t shock so much as agitate. Stirring up shit for shit’s sake. Out to massacre melody and strangle lyricism. Nor does it let up for one second. What’s more, this racket is positively haunting. It’s one of the most intense albums I’ve heard in quite a spell. While not for the faint of heart, there is without a doubt a ton of heart in it. It’s the musical equivalent of a Francis Bacon painting. It's ugly and it doesn’t make much coherent sense. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t get under your skin. Inglorious racket for the dispossessed.

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