Posts Tagged ‘Adam Faulkner’

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In November 2019, Girl Band played back to back sold out shows at Dublin’s iconic Vicar Street, this was following the release of long awaited second album ‘The Talkies’ hailed as ‘more abstract and more focused than their debut’ and a sold out East coast U.S & European tour. Recognised for their ferocious live shows which have been described as chaotic, electrifying and ‘genuinely dangerous, like one last rave before the apocalypse’, these shows were highly intimate and intensely sought after creating an air of ‘you had to be there’. This is their first ever Live vinyl and features tracks from their whole repertoire, some of which have only been performed a handful of times.

“As perfect an expression of rock n roll essentials auto – destructive impulse as this writers ever heard” The Guardian 5/5

Girl Band play ugly noise with a charisma and energy to drag them from the no wave ghetto to somewhere bigger” Mojo 4/5

“It’s a hellish noisy odyssey in vicious rock n roll” Crack 8/10

GIRL BAND are: Dara Kiely (vocals) Daniel Fox (bass) Adam Faulkner (drums) Alan Duggan (guitar)

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Tracklist:

1.Pears for Lunch – 3.35 2.Fucking Butter – 7.49 3.Lawman – 6.14 4.Heckle The Frames – 1.31 5.The Last Riddler – 1.21 6.Laggard – 5.56 7.Salmon of Knowledge – 6.21 8.Amygdala – 1.43 9.The Cha Cha Cha – 0.29 10.Shoulderblades – 6.07 11.Prefab Castle – 7.39 12.Why they hide their bodies under my garage? 13.Going Norway – 4.13 14.Paul – 6.54Girl BandGirl BandGirl Band

recordstore day

The Talkies is Girl Band’s follow-up album to their ground breaking 2015 debut “Holding Hands with Jamie”. The Talkies is living, breathing, in a continual state of metamorphosis. It encompasses everything there is to love about Girl Band while simultaneously causing an exciting level of discomfort. The moaning and sawing guitars, atonal blankets of sound, abstractive lyrical repetition, chugging snare and ascending / descending snakes and ladders noise-rock guitar deliver something that is so distinctively Girl Band. The album opens to unsteady breathing. Slow at first, unwanted and out of time. Breathing shallows and discomfort deepens over the sustained heartbeat of a soon to be familiar A chord. This is Dara’s breath, this is his panic, a momentary, one-off lapse of control recorded and transmuted into a rhythmic, off-beat moment of disquiet to unlock Girl Band’s crucial yet quietly anticipated second album: The Talkies.

Following arguably the sweetest vocal melody lead singer Dara Kiely has ever sung on record, his voice momentarily offers an ominous hint before sharply metamorphosing into a feral and incomprehensible bark at the climax of “Laggard”. His distressed calls of “What a total cod” are the brutal culmination of a track that feverishly toys with volume, and turbulently snakes through wailing, siren-like guitars; piercing rimshot rhythms; and furious blasts of percussion and bass.

The impact of these sudden sonic shifts are greatly enhanced by Girl Band’s emphasis on groove, atmosphere and patience on The TalkiesIt allows the four-piece to consistently beguile and wrong-foot their audience. Consequently, it makes The Talkies a rather disconcerting listen, as one never truly knows what to expect next from the four-piece. “Salmon of Knowledge”, for example, swells with noise and pained screams before reverting back to a soft groove. Lead single, “Shoulderblades” contorts itself through varying passages of tumultuous noise, as Kiely’s barbed howls are later framed by disquieting demands for silence.

Whilst several tracks tease the listener and build tension without ever truly releasing the pressure valve, others viciously combust. “Prefab Castle” gently builds with a glitched riff before fracturing itself into multiple nightmarish motifs. Technically reminiscent of a cinematic fast-cut, these motifs rapidly cycle and then reconstitute themselves into a devastating techno—inspired groove. Similarly, “Going Norway”, spontaneously accelerates with a vocal melody akin to “Pears For Lunch” from Girl Band’s debut, Holding Hands with Jamie.The humorous “Couch Combover” also finds Kiely manically erupting, declaring that a figure “Gave birth to a fax machine” amongst chaotic guitars.

The production greatly adds to the atmosphere conjured on the The Talkies. Inspired by Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere” and the backwards dialogue of Twin Peaks’ infamous red-room sequences, “Aibohphobia” constructs a dense soundscape of palindromes and reversed instrumentation, which later obliterates itself with coarse rumbling bass.

Furthermore, the splicing of multiple recordings from the different rooms of Ballintubbert House, where Girl Band recorded the majority of their second record, thrusts the listener within the heart of the stately home. The sonics allow the listener to metaphorically voyage through its corridors, while the band perform the record as if they were performance artists within an exhibition. Instruments and vocals organically move from striking intimacy to distant and ambient, creating a unique world for the listener to explore.

For example, the excellent “Caveat” initially finds Kiely’s vocals up-close and clear. There is an intense sense of intimacy and one can imagine standing directly in front of Kiely and feeling his breath as he drawls, “Scale electric/Vampyroteuthis”. As we then explore the bowels of Ballintubbert House, Kiely’s vocals become distant and almost lost within the mix. His screams repurpose themselves as haunting reverberations through the corridors of the stately home, as we reposition ourselves to witness drummer Adam Faulkner furiously striking hi-hats to piercing effect.

There is a juxtaposition to be found within The Talkieswhich makes it a fascinating listen. Thematically and sonically, the Irish quartet’s second record is a coherent record, but it is also persistently engulfed by the psychopathology and sequelae of psychosis – a state where one can (dependent on the severity of the psychosis) present as entirely incoherent.

With pronouns purposefully avoided, Kiely placed emphasis on the weight of words and sounds, when assembling the lyrics for the twelve tracks found on The TalkiesThis device warps words to the point of unfamiliarity and language to the point of abstraction. Yet, whether intentional or not, Kiely’s lyrics mirror the psychiatric phenomenon of formal thought disorder. The words when visualised resemble word salad and over the course of the record there is evidence of neologisms (“guilloti-eenager” in “Laggard”); clang associations (“Mechanical Boil, Ball, Boil, Bull, Ball” in “Going Norway”); and perseveration of language (the repeated “Y in the Byrds” found in “Salmon of Knowledge”).

Additionally, the drum-rolls and abrasive screams of “Amygdala” feel apt for a track named after the area of the brain key in the processing of emotion (in particular, fear). Likewise, “Akineton” is the trade-name of Biperiden, a medication used to treat a side-effect commonly associated with anti-psychotics – akathisia (the subjective feeling of inner restlessness). Its racing guitars and fidgeting electronics mimic that restlessness. These shorter tracks therefore are not just filler and augment the possible narrative woven throughout the record.

The Talkies is a devastating and jaw-dropping record that provokes awe and anxiety in equal measure. Although there are elements throughout the record that are ‘quintessentially’ Girl Band, The Talkies builds upon these elements and makes a vast leap sonically and narratively with the aid of unrestrained experimentation. There is a definitive artistic expression found on The Talkies and frankly it should be a late contender for any albums of the decade list.

*blue vinyl available the Rough Trade Records webstore and indie retailers. Numbered and signed postcards, documenting our time recording the album, come free with pre-orders exclusively from the Rough Trade Records webstore

Few live acts are as capable of recreating the feeling of watching the napalm invasion from Apocalypse Now as this Irish quartet, whose megaphoned shrieks, guitar squalls, bass bombs, and drums of death combine for a uniquely visceral and violent experience.

Formed four years ago, Girl Band (Adam Faulkner, Daniel Fox, Dara Kiely, Alan Duggan) have taken their time to get to this point, but the truism of good things coming. Much has been made of Girl Band’s influences. With touchstones such as Washington DC hardcore act Bad Brains, New York’s No Wave scenesters James Chance and the Contortions, and Britain’s Chemical Brothers and The Fall, there is firm evidence here of musicians that have checked out the majority of other Irish acts and found them lacking in grit and adventure. There really is no other Irish band around at the moment that can channel No Wave disharmony as well as Girl Band, but what distinguishes them on record, as on stage, is a subtle sense of melody that infiltrates everything they do.

Why They’re Not bigger they’ve created one sublime LP of noise-rock cacophony Holding Hands With Jamie and one collected EP of nihilist-disco superjams The Early Years, but the album that fully integrates their strengths into one nation-leveling masterwork will be what puts them over the top.

Their finest moment to date The eight-minute cover of Blawan’s “Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage,” making a brilliantly inscrutable post-garage banger even more perplexing and enthralling