Girls Names - Dead to Me

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2011-04-25

Jangle of The Sundays - Check! The twang and surf of Duane Eddy - Check! Deadpan vocals of Jim Reid - Check! Croon of The Stray Cats - Check! All the best bits of C86 - Check! Billy basic lo-fi recording methods - Check! Stick the above into a vessel and it's Belfast trio Girls Names summed up with their debut album Dead to Me. Tight, bittersweet indie stuff and all they use to deliver it are a bass, drums and guitar. Not much, I hear you think but when you've got more hooks than the world fishing championships why worry about needing anything else? The guitar is taut, the drums slightly reminiscent of The Shop Assistants although lead singer Cathal Cully sings in a drawl that is at times incoherent and lazy. 'No More Words' more than encapsulates what they do in a warm, fuzzy and competent format.

Keeping things short and sweet, 'Nothing More to Say' sounds like a break-up song that rather implies a sense of moving on. 'I lose' is resplendent with a Ronettes style minimalist piece of drum-work, while the sparse and ethereal vocals ramble on about a self-loathing epitaph. While some of the ramblings are downbeat, the jerky, sharp guitar keeps the music flowing at a steady pace. However, the album does lack some diversity and that can be only due to the distinct lack of instruments on show here. They've definitely got the male equivalent of The Dum Dum Girls going on.

Their finale is 'Séance on a Wet Afternoon', and the stripped-down guitar sound and effects box wig-out rounds off a tidy and eventful first album. They still have some work to do but there is certainly potential in these 10 songs.

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