Popular Irish beat combo* Girl Band have been busy it seems. You know the life of a band, bit of touring, bit of album recording, holding a giant Shania Twain poster – the usual. They’ve also made another video (directed and produced by Bob Gallagher, who made the video for their Blawan cover, check it out) and it’s super weird. Paul is the first single from their eagerly anticipated debut, Holding Hands With Jamie which drops on the 25th September. Nine tracks, all previously unrecorded – expect proper haircuts as well.
Paul, showcases the harrowing and saddening life of an entertainer who has to wear a pig costume for a kids TV show, gets no respect and is replaced by a rooster. It’s depressing and bleak, but oddly (spoiler alert) shows a lot of heart and a ray of hope at the end. Girl Band go all out on this one in making something that’s beyond demented – never have I heard a band that sound so different on everything they commit to tape. From the creeping, sinister bass-line opening, which wavers just on the edge of conciousness as the pounding drums start, you can feel the fear setting in.
It’s when vocalist Dara Kiely lets rip – his off-kilter, slurred, monotone is bereft of warmth, anger, fear, happiness – it’s just ambivalence and disappointment. At one point he chants the mantra “How many bulbs does it take to screw a light in?” and don’t even get me started on the falsetto bit at the 4 minute mark, which is utterly lead-paint-drinking insanity.
Credit to bassist Daniel Fox, who’s instrument crawls out of the speakers to take over your life, whilst guitarist Alan Duggan is possibly dismantling his six string with an industrial drill in the warped finale and drummer Adam Faulkner bravely keeps normality through his marching, sinister pattern of hits that culminate in a nervous breakdown.
As a man who has had to wear an animal costume at several points in my life, I know some of, if not all the journey that Paul is going through. Also, Nialler9 describes/has a better take on it, so read that as well. Watch Paul below.
You can pre-order Paul on 12″ and Holding Hands With Jamie in various formats (no betamax) now from the Rough Trade store.
*You try describing them properly then.