Arms Around A Vision By Girls Names – Review
Type ‘Girls Names’ into your Google search bar and your computer will almost explode with the most popular names for baby girls. In spite of calling themselves a rather ambiguous name, Girls Names have forged a reputation of their very own. In the wake of their third studio album, an album that’s been hotly anticipated but received a rather quiet release, the band remind us exactly why the isolated melancholy of post-punk and internal uncertainties makes for such good listening.
Arms Around a Vision does exactly what is says on the tin. It reflects the anxiety and frustration of unrequited love and speaks with fleeting passion. There’s an understated beauty to how the band operate on this album, a sense of rejection is always to the fore of each track. ‘I Was You’ is branded with scratches, atmospheric buzzes and the howls and low-pitched rumbles that feature both on this track and throughout this album are a stark reminder that love songs aren’t all power ballads.
It’s clear from first listen that the band wanted to produce both melody and aggression on this record, the alt-rock swagger of ‘Reticence’ proves that the Belfast band are learning what works for them, both lyrically and melodically. The fiery elements of ‘A Hunger Artist’ gives the entire album a whole other level. There’s an interplay between musical genres that emphasises that the group have a greater musical range than ever before.
There’s a niche element to their sound, the jerking element of post-punk is the band’s hallmark, anything additional, like the electronica undertones of ‘Obsession’, are simply a reminder that, three albums in, they may have established a sound but that doesn’t mean they can’t build upon it.
Superficially, Arms Around a Vision appears to be the usual offerings from Girls Names, and yet, multiple listens will present fans with a multifaceted experience of sound. There’s techno, post-punk, jolting indie rock gems, and lyrics that submerge the listener in emotion. Another gem from the Belfast boys to say the least, it’s arguably an album made for live performances, but its tempestuous qualities and edgy nature will undoubtedly satiate anyone’s tastes.