Review
Nicola Guerra



GIRL BAND  ‘The Talkies’
(Rough Trade)  LP/ 2019


I often travel to Ireland for work and the thing that most intrigues me is to observe the differences between the Anglo-Saxon and Italian working class. We are both in the shit, it is clear, but the approach to the exteriorization of feelings is quite different. You can perceive it in any daily gesture, in the common life but above all in art. Music, as such, is a litmus test of general dissatisfaction; while in Italy the baggage of “committed singer-songwriters” has been gradually replaced by a frivolous and unconscious approach, in Ireland noise (not necessarily made with traditional instruments) seems an excellent alternative to all this crap. In short, all angry and frustrated, but here in Italy, we rebel shaking with the summer hits of Giusy Ferreri while in the UK the Idles with foaming anger sing, “My blood brother is an immigrant, a beautiful immigrant, my blood brother’s Freddie Mercury, a Nigerian mother of three, he’s made of bones, he’s made of blood, he’s made of flesh, he’s made of love, he’s made of you, he’s made of me, Unity”, and the Irish Girl Band respond with a second album more claustrophobic than their debut four years ago, Holding Hands With Jamie.

The Talkies, published again by Rough Trade, is more than a record; it’s state of mind, a delirious but lucid attempt to escape from the fears, which often inhabit our psyche. Surely Dara Kiely, voice of the Dublin quartet, is mainly responsible for the suffocating climax that you breathe in this record; he screams, spasms, anxious breaths and the same fear that the animal has when it is cornered. The music that accompanies the deliriums of the frontman oscillates between industrial, noise and dance from the bowels of the earth, indulging anger, frustration, the few oases of peace “ambient” (the lullaby that queries the post-punk assault of ‘Laggard’) are just a physiological breath, the breath of air that serves not to suffocate, the attempt to look away towards the imminent end of the world.

Incredibly cohesive, sharp, direct, difficult to digest and yet as fascinating as all things that speak of real life, the second album from Girl Band is a manifesto of the intolerance of a generation that wants to escape and at the same time react, without having any idea of how to do.

We are really in a tight spot and the four sound killers slam it in our faces, not playing to show us something but giving us directions on how we should behave.

Nicola Guerra








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