The Dublin band Girl Band played their first show in America last Thursday night to a packed Baby’s All Right. To say it was a successful landing wouldn’t exactly cover it. They tore Brooklyn apart with a set that combined arty dance beats with Cobain-like screaming, and enough noise rock to keep any music nerd (like me) both happily bouncing around and reflecting on the craft of the songs.

Like Viet Cong – another international band to come through NYC earlier this year – Girl Band makes good use of Krautrock beats taken from bands like Neu! It’s mechanical, not exactly punk, but it’s driving and easy to fuck around with. Girl Band takes that aesthetic and employs a wide range of things to put over top of it. Like guitar and bass noise. At some points in the concert, bassist Daniel Fox played bass with a coke bottle, which fed back and layered noise beneath Alan Duggan’s guitar.

Above all this Dara Kiely alternates between talk-singing like a drunk Ian Curtis and screaming his face blue using repetitive phrases like “Why They Hide the Bodies Under My Garage?” which turn into an audience chant and then mosh pit. The song built with an almost disco-like beat, which turned into a thrash beat, and then back to a disco beat depending on the point in the song.

Some of their other songs, noticeably “Sexy Wife” and “Ba De Boom” I recognized from the live show I saw them play on youtube. Live it came off just as massive as I thought it would, with everyone manically dancing. In between songs Kiely stopped to address the audience in a thick Irish accent which nobody could understand. However, I could understand him more when he was singing, as his voice was somewhere between a drawl and bark, and when he was screaming, it was amelodic, but also affected.

I look forward to them releasing their first LP, and think that Girl Band could make a huge splash in America.

To add to the atmosphere, the two openers, Sick Feeling and bbigpigg were also both good. Sick Feeling put up a projector screen and played on the open floor to a wild mosh pit, and bbigpigg was a local “sewer punk” band from NYC which laid down some odd time signature grooves. All three were high energy artsy punk bands who I’d recommend both for fans of up and coming punk and hardcore scenes.

Article by: Steven Klett


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