Girls Names at Whelan’s – Review
Girls Names at Whelan’s – 9th Nov 2013
with support from September Girls and Princess
Progressive sounding Girls Names band played Whelan’s last night with very impressive support coming from September Girls and Princess. Princess were on earlier than expected, so we just caught their last song. September Girls were in tune with the audience and relaxed. They really stood out showing off their Goth-garage guitar riffs in fashionable style. They played a new single called ‘Heartbeats’, with Gothic 80’s infused harmonies that the jam packed room seemed to love.
Girls Names, as a four piece hail from Belfast, and over the last four years have become very popular for moody post-punk material with a decidedly psychedelic edge, with periods of tightness and often unleash riffs into gorgeous reckless abandon. With two excellently rated and critically acclaimed LP’s behind them, the surf-indie sounding ‘Dead to Me’ (2010) and post-punk, progressive sounding ‘The New Life’ (2013), an interesting night was ahead for us.
Hitting the stage amidst dark-ruddy lighting, the crowd rocked and shook along to ‘Projection’ with a savage bass line from Claire Miskimmin and Cathal Cullys vocal of post-punk pure indulgence. Moving on, they played ‘Hypnotic Regression’, a popular new song, luring us into their world of sound in a subtle and delectable way.
‘A Second Skin’ and its awesome scale of awesomeness stands alone, gorgeous riffing by Philip Quinn and Cully and muffled drums by Gib Cassidy. Their Joy division-esque synth and guitar-manship by Quinn was awe inspiring, the crowd loved it. ‘Séance’ is a cracker of a tune from ‘The New Life’, it was like a psychedelic state of mind with an addictive guitar line amidst spacey synth keys, very otherworldly. “I’ve lost myself, forgotten myself…you’re perfect”. Excellent guitar melodies that are as hypnotic, as they are groove inducing.
From this point onward, Cully dedicated the next part of the set to Lou Reed, a new direction very synth, drum and bass and scintillating guitar-manship by Cully, with Mikimmins bass sounding seriously good, the crowd rocked out to ‘Drawing lines’, very synth led and euphoric. Then came the frantic punk style drum pace for ‘Third Uncle’ with its clanging guitar riffs smashing onward, and Cully’s vocal luring us in again. That vocal had some slightly ‘Robert Smith’ Cure-esque touches, a class-class song.
Stand out songs were ‘A Second Skin’, ‘Hynotic Regression’ and ‘Pittura Infamante’ which came with its frighteningly visual guitar composition, a mind blowing song. The ‘skank’ style guitar is a brilliant tool they use as the outer layer to their sound, echoing over us it really takes you somewhere else. Their last song was ‘The New Life’ and it was so mouth-watering; we were floating in space at the end.
Leaving us with interference and winds blowing, they didn’t return for an encore and that was fine. Girls Names are onto a mesmerizing, soul possessing sound, which is delicious sounding to the ear and wonderful to rock out to. We anticipate that their next steps will be well crafted and carefully thought out.
Girls Names are an admirable progressive post-punk band, of our generation. Ones to watch.
Review by Aine Byrne