Girl Band shared their third single ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ from their long awaited second album The Talkies out on Rough Trade Records on September 27th, 2019. Released almost 4 years to the day since their critically acclaimed debut LP Holding Hands with Jamie, The Talkies has already attracted much praise from Record Collector: “5* – Of the current crop of noisey young bands emerging from Ireland, it’s Girl Band who punch the hardest”; Loud and Quiet: “It’s a knock-out, even better than their debut’ and 6 Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs: “One of the biggest comebacks of 2019”.
Back to their latest single and ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ opens with a metronomic drum beat and a dense, bowel-loosening bass throb. Dara Keily’s vocals come in and the sound experimentation/reverse sounds/noise/dissonance begins. Keily’s vocals become more strained, immediate and intense as the full on sonic immersion gets well underway. The band adopts a confrontational, repetitive stance which I wholeheartedly fucking approve of to be honest. It is very reminiscent of Butthole Surfers, The Fall and Big Black. Halfway through and the song has ‘gone nowhere’ in terms or dynamic time signature changes or song structure, but this is what is so great about Girl Band. They have beaten you into submission and you feel dazed and confused at the end.
You never quite know what you are going to get with Girl Band, and with ‘Salmon of Knowledge’, what is served up is (at times) ‘difficult’ soundscapes replete with screaming vocals, dissonance, noise, yet groovy bass and drums. Completely mental on paper, but they make perfect sense in this crazy world we call 21st Century Britain.
Girl Band are a breath of fresh air and can do no wrong in my eyes. They seem to have captured the current sense of disconnect and disbelief at the way the country is being run and express and extrapolate this discombobulation to the extreme. Girl Band are part of a tangible sea change in music, politics and wellbeing, and for this they should be applauded. Brilliant stuff.
The album The Talkies is out now on Rough Trade Records and is available on vinyl / CD / and streaming platforms.
UK & US tour dates below.
Oct 6th – Washington, DC – Songbyrd, DC
Oct 8th – Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere
UK/ EU Dates
Nov 2nd – Manchester – Academy 2
Nov 5th – London – Electric Ballroom
Nov 7th – Brussels – Botanique (Sold Out)
Nov 8th – Utrecht – Le Guess Who? 2019
Nov 12th – Berlin – Bi Nuu
Nov 14th – Paris – La Maroquinerie
Nov 22nd – Dublin – Vicar Street (Sold Out)
Nov 23rd – Dublin – Vicar Street
Review by Ioan Humphreys