Thursday, January 9, 2014

REVIEW: September Girls - Cursing the Sea

Until now our impression of the music of Irish band September Girls was formed by their intriguing singles.  The default characterization that came to listeners' minds often involved references to other fuzz guitar bands with female vocals, such as Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls or even Veronica Falls.  But with the ability to assess them more completely upon the release of their debut LP, Cursing the Sea, I have had the opportunity to adjust my impressions of the band.  And with the benefit of several days with the album, it seems to me that while the original references are not totally wide of the mark, the dominant influences are broader and even more interesting.  Presented with plenty of reverb, fuzz, distortion, cavernous drums, layered female vocals, a noirish haze and a deliciously dominant bass, September Girls present themselves as a wonderful amalgamation of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Raveonettes and the Cure, produced by Phil Spector.

It is likely that a good bit of the strength of this group is attributable to the fact that there are four songwriters, allowing for a fair amount of diversity and varied inspiration before the band transforms the ideas into a September Girls song.  But there also is no apparent disagreement about what makes a song theirs, and the albums coherence and consistency is impressive for a band that has been together for just a couple of years.  So while there are several tracks that stand out to me, such as "Green Eyed", "Heartbeats", "Daylight", and "Sister", the entire album should be regarded as an achievement for the band.  And for me, it is a great way to start out the year in music.

September Girls are Sarah (drums), Jessie (guitar, vocals), Caoimhe (guitar, vocals), Lauren (keys, vocals), and Paula (bass, vocals).  Cursing the Sea is out now via Fortuna POP!

Fortuna POP!

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