Girl Band’s Punk Reconstructionism Comes to Philly

Tonight, amid the epileptic haze and smirking fake phone numbers of the Voyeur Nightclub on Saint James Street, an Irish four-piece called Girl Band will try and put music back together again. The quartet is part of a transparently taste-quenching bill that was put together to celebrate the noise-complicating collective Making Time’s 15th Anniversary. It’s an event that features the sly but unsubtle deconstructionists Viet Cong as co-headliners alongside gender role-dissolving pop figure skaters Lower Dens, a pairing that only makes sense if you plan on chopping and screwing one band’s discography into the other’s later in the night, which might just happen, since the celebration is slated to end at 4 AM.

But before all that, there will be a Girl Band set, and I suggest not missing it, because Girl Band is doing some great work right now. The group’s most recent release, a five-song EP called The Early Years, is a near-brilliant work of punk reconstructionism. Each song starts among the rubble of a few genres – the leftover momentum of a dance beat, a Weissian drum fill, the roar of every guitar pedal the band owns malfunctioning – and ends somewhere in the bowels of a fully imagined city, the voice of singer Dara Kiely lacking just enough in impulse control that he’s able to accurately render the manic din of each conjured borough’s overcrowded streets. You can recognize characters and moods if you want, but it’s probably more compelling to imagine Kiely as the collected consciousness of each city’s street performers.

For the most part, Girl Band makes songs that world-build without giving any specifics, that want to give you something fully realized but are generous enough to let you decide where that realization should happen. It may seem odd, then, for me to be suggesting that you choose the Voyeur for your moment of noise-rock alchemy enlightenment, but it’s pointless getting caught up in something as transient as location. Girl Band is going to tear down that club and build something impossible in its place at least five times over the course of their set. By the end, who knows, you might find yourself standing at the top of an inverted skyscraper.

Listen to Girl Band’s single, “Lawman” below! Ready or not, get tickets for the show here

Featured Image courtesy of the Artist

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