Irish Rockers Girl Band Bring the Noise on Powerful Debut ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’: Album Review

Girl Band
Album Review
3.5
Courtesy Photo
<p>Biologically speaking, the sensations of pleasure and pain are closely related, and Ireland’s Girl Band (a deliciously noisy quartet that is, naturally, all-male) straddles that line with no small amount of glee. On its full-length debut,<em> Holding Hands With Jamie</em>, the act mixes throat-shredding screams, jackhammer rhythms and shards of fuzz with abrupt drops into near-silence. The glue holding it all together is singer Dara Kiely, who’ll take a laconic melody or unintelligible phrase and gradually ratchet up into shrieking, power-drill intensity while the instruments follow his lead. But just as remarkable is how the band turns a plinking noise or shambolic bassline (like on “Pears for Lunch” or “In Plastic”) into a hook as catchy as virtually any indie rock song out there. Reference points include Liars and The Fall, but Girl Band is very much its own beast.</p><p><em>This article originally appeared in the <a href="http://shop.billboard.com/collections/back-issues/products/billboard-back-issue-volume-127-issue-29">Oct. 3 issue of Billboard</a>.</em></p>