When: Sat., July 16, 11 p.m. 2016
I’m a jaded piece of shit about rock bands. If they don’t tear my face off by the end of the first song, I can’t be bothered. But here I am, talking about Girl Band from my missing face. This Dublin noise-punk four-piece sound like they make music with high-tension cables and bricks of steel wool. On their only full-length, 2015’s Holding Hands With Jamie (Rough Trade), guitarist Alan Duggan and bassist Daniel Fox hammer and scrape at every part of their strings, so that their “riffs” come out as organized patterns of chattering, scribbling, and shrieking. They often lunge or drift in pitch instead of stepping from note to note—I assume they’re playing with slides, though they might be using crescent wrenches. Or subway rails. Girl Band break up their bent gestures and heaving surges with gashes of silence and detonations of caustic noise, and their capacity for quiet and restraint gives terrifying force to their conflagrations of unpitched fuckery. Despite their ugly primitivism, though, they employ sophisticated structures and arrangements, like an abstract expressionist who paints with a push broom and a flamethrower. Drummer Adam Faulkner keeps his trashy but regimented beats taut at any speed, and the stark, martial simplicity of his playing makes the occasional odd bar length or dropped beat especially jarring. Front man Dara Kiely moves between a broken croon, a smeary, dragging drawl, and a tortured howl—his apathy and anguish create more tension in this kind of music than the usual angry yelling. Girl Band are tightly controlled and scarily unhinged, and thanks to Kiely, they sound like they don’t give a fuck if that combustible mix blows sky-high. On their first visit to Chicago, they also play at 1:45 this afternoon on the Red Stage at the Pitchfork Music Festival.
Price: $14, $12 in advance