Dublin post-punk outfit Girl Band have been making a lot of buzz recently with only releasing a few EP’s and various singles, but even that was enough to land them with a solid fan base and the promise of a new album out in September. Even better, they have recently released the first single and music video taken from Holding Hands with Jamie due out on the 25th. “Paul” brings all the elements this band has that paved them into the limelight, and pushes it further to what hopefully becomes an ambitious debut record.
The track starts with a teetering bass line that shuffles along as eerily as a creaking hardwood floor. It’s unnerving and uneasy, yet the song keeps a loaded gun of sonic energy that builds up as the song progresses. The vocals are very confrontational, as they should be, and the appeal of Kiely’s strange, raw voice slowly grows on you after really delving into their tracks. Girl Band respect the instrumental aspect of their music as a beast of its own, and this gives the vocals the chance to fit right into the song. This seamless harmony makes the risk worth the reward when the song reaches its full energy.
Heavy distortion drowns the guitar and becomes the driving force of “Paul” by the end of the track, with the intensity being pushed to its most extreme limits. The in-your-face style this song gives off is true to the nature of punk, the droning guitars and a pummeling force of noise is true to the Girl Band aesthetic. They seem to really understand what they’re doing, and are striving to do it even better. The songwriting seems to be the best area of “Paul”, as it flows wonderfully, growing louder and louder patiently as it progresses.
The music video for this song depicts the sad life of a TV show mascot for a children’s show, and is riddled with envy over the star of the show, a glorious, golden chicken that all the children love. Assuming jealousy is the theme of the song (among other things), the video displays it wonderfully as a man who has hit rock bottom in his life. Stuck parading around as a pig in a dress, his career is slowly stagnating as well as his love life, and he is slowly being swallowed by disappointment, coming from his father and from himself. The song builds the tension and plunges into madness right as the protagonist follows suit, and the explosive ending is both devastating and cathartic to watch in accompany with it.
“Paul” is very much a modern tragedy, sprinkled with great moments of dry humor. This is even displayed in the song with the out-there lyrics, sometimes serious, sometimes funny, sometimes unintelligible. This song is an expression of energy, almost too much energy, that constantly pounds at the listener, and that’s why some may not like it. If you like your music intense, loud, and direct, this band is definitely for you. This band filled an open hole in recent music that successfully achieves a new sense and sound of heavy, and “Paul” leaves you wanting more off of their debut release.
You can pre-order the album here.