Girls Names – Dead to Me album review

Girls Names, coming at us from Belfast, describe themselves quite simply as a band that plays “disposable, noise pop songs.” The band is actually a bit incognito to the cyber world we live in. I mean, they don’t even have a Wikipedia page. If you visit their site though, which is actually just a blogspot, you will see that the band has a good sense of humor, despite the bleak album title.

I am going to swoop right in with an unlikely comparison. Girls Names are reminiscent of Joy Division, if Ian Curtis was never depressed. Unlike some other lo fi bands, where the vocals take a back seat, Cathal Cully politely demands attention. His deep, direct vocals are music to my ears. But everyone in this band gets a spiritual high five from me. The album is ghostly charming and tremendously upbeat. They just don’t play guitar like Cathal Cully does anymore. The drums are Oscar winning supporting actors. I am the kind of person who is naturally deaf to all instruments other than guitar. But Girls Names established such a perfect harmony between their drums, guitars, and vocals, that you just have to take them in as the whole package. A bitter sweet package of what could have been but never was. If countries were ran as well as Girls Names play their music, we would have world peace.

This is out of line but I am going to go there anyway. While creepin’ the band’s site, I came across a video/song called “Falling (Twin Peaks Theme)”.  It’s not on the album but it needs to be heard. Cully’s vocals are distant but alluring, just the way a man should be. I can’t praise him enough. The video is low budget (it’s just a rehearsal video), the band is camera awkward and just a little shy. I just want to have my way with them! You can watch it here.

Back to the tracks on the album.  This is the perfect summer listen. Musically, it is peppy and guitar heavy, distracting from the sometimes longing lyrics. With track titles like “I could die”, “Bury me”, “Cut up”, “I lose,” you’ve got a funeral home wet dream. But Girls Names are not that kind of band. They challenge us with a “Why so serious?” Joker smirk and teach us that life and death are something to take lightly.

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