In the world of punk, tension is a contant. Tension from “fans” claiming you’ve sold out when you have success. Tension fro members over direction. Tension from all over the “scene” the world over. On their new album The Talkies, Dublin’s Girl Band take tension and anxiety to a whole new level. Mixing dark tones and swirls of isolation into their eviscerate sound, they leave a mark you’re happy to carry around.
Few albums begin as this one. With a droning synth and breathing, the darkness and tension sounding album is noticeable right from the start on “Prolix.” Heading into the wailing and at times dissonant sounds of “Going Norway” makes sense. One of the more upbeat tracks from the album, it’s clear that the band is painting a picture. Before the screaming vocals and murky instruments come and go, the song takes turns down dark alleyways. There’s plenty of despair and loneliness here, and it’s magnetic.
This continues on the haunting notes of “Aibohphobia,” into the depths of “Salmon of Knowledge” and well into the chaotic pains of “Akineton.” But where the true magic of the album lies is within the space that the band portrays. This is anxiety, tension and darkness personified through instruments like you’ve never heard. Moments of the album sound like swinging an amplifier over a ledge or like what it feels like to continuously cut yourself. The songs are all brushstrokes of something larger. “Caveat” has this dark late night dance club meets glue huffing vampires feel. “Laggard” hits with the utmost intensity while building to an explosive world of pain. Though with all of this, how each track feels like a grain of sand at the beach, there’s more. “Amygdala” has everything. The anguish, the rhythmic chaos and the dark breaths of isolation. It encapsulates a record that’s more than just another punk album, but a masterful take on something else entirely.
The Talkies can be purchased physically from Rough Trade Records, it can be streamed on all streaming sites or purchased digitally from all online music shops. Girl Band is on tour tomorrow at Beat Kitchen in Chicago, IL until November 23 at Vicar Street in Dublin, Ireland. Their complete tour itinerary is located here.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Rough Trade.