The term Girl Band generates an ambient playlist of 1960s girl groups like the Shangri Las, theCrystals and Ronettes in my head, recounting tales of the boys who were rebels and leaders of the pack, the boys that defined their experience of youth. Then there are the girl bands of the 1990’s, namely the Spice Girls, the cornerstone of inspiring the feminist years of your twenties. Two does not always become one; sometimes it can accidentally make three isn’t that so Baby Spice? How is the term “girl band” being appropriated in 2014 you may wonder? It is being redefined by four extremely talented guys from Dublin; Dara Kiely, Daniel Fox, Alan Duggan and Adam Faulkner under the guise of, you guessed it; Girl Band. Their rebellious nature when it comes to their music definitely justifies their Leader of the Pack status within the Irish music scene.
Girl Band have been effortlessly creating amazing music since late 2011, with the release of their first EP France 98 in 2012 showcasing their musical originality with songs like “You’re a Dog” and “Busy at Maths.” Admittedly I would not be an avid listener of their deafeningly loud, intensely diverse, garage and punk inspired music. It literally scared me senseless. Most girls declared Kurt Cobain as the love of their life; he scared the life straight out of me. I attribute my severe Kurtophobia to a conscious detachment to any music that fell under the garage, heavy rock genre.
That was my mind-set pre-Girl Band. Thus, I am a total novice when it comes to this genre. However, I am completely compos mentis about my love for Girl Band’s music. Yes, it is overwhelmingly loud at times, and intimidating upon introduction but it is this initial uncertainty that draws you in and makes you want to listen to them more, more often and louder than setting 11. As I mentioned, Girl Band are extremely talented musicians and the sound that they produce from their instruments is incredulous. I always find myself in a state of wonderment as to how Alan Duggan makes his guitar sound so sonically alive and exuberant, almost talkative if that makes sense. Meanwhile Daniel Fox and Adam Faulkner collaborate in exercising a sense of parental control, instilling a musical direction with both bass and drums respectively.
On Saturday 28th of September Girl Band played one of their most impressive shows to date in the Button Factory. It was a gig I had been looking forward to since May, and my anticipation and excitement was most definitely justified by the jaw-dropping, foot-tapping, embarrassing- dance inducing performance by the band on the night. This gig was an opportunity for Girl Band to celebrate their latest single “De Bom Bom” released on September 1st fans to a rare performance on home soil. The show was incredible, marked by an electric elation unifying the crowd by the captivating presence and performance by the band. After the performance I was talking to two guys who had stumbled upon Girl Band by complete chance a few months ago and instantly fell in love with their “mechanical” sound. You could tell that were in a mesmerised state of disbelief after seeing Girl Band live and even more awe stricken by the fact that this was an Irish band!
It was really nice to hear these guys talk about how much they admired Girl Band especially because Alan, Daniel, Adam and Dara are four of the nicest guys you could have the pleasure of talking to. With an intense sound like theirs you would be allowed to assume that Charles Manson was their spiritual leader and that they spoke solely of strangely gothic nuances. Instead they playfully laugh about the nicknames they lovingly label one another while on tour, warming their vocals, honey consumption and pre-gig nerves. In this way they are just normal guys in their early twenties who are passionate and totally professional in pursuing their explosive career. In essence, they are endearing both musically and as people. Also, if you are one that loves a good band t-shirt, Girl Band have a very cool one available on their website www.girlbanddublin.bandcamp.com so be sure to purchase one and you’ll be retiring your Metallica with no remorse. These guys are not only adept at music, their also trend-setters!
The next year for Girl Band is set to be exciting with some Irish dates around the country in the coming weeks. I can only see big things for Girl Band in their promising future, and they truly deserve all of the support and recognition they receive from music critics, industry heads and most importantly from their friends, family and fans. “You said everything that matters is contagious,” can be deciphered from Dara Kiely’s vocals in “Lawman” and to me Girl Band’s music matters and it is a sound that will undoubtedly be contagious as 2014 progresses.