Since the clench-your-teeth-so-hard-you-feel-like-biting-through-your-lip expulsion that was Girl Band’s cover of ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?’ in 2013, there’s been a boiling sense of anticipation as to what this Irish group will unveil as their debut album. What has arrived is a record that charges in all direction; explosive yet recoiled, chugging with a brooding force that can border on the fearful, something always feeling like it’s ready to snap or detonate. It’s like running through a minefield whilst blindfolded, which makes for joyously uncomfortable listening.

A large degree of this unpredictability seems to stem from the band’s seeming disdain for conventional structure, with tracks unfolding abstractly, their construct resembling that of a buckled car post-accident – you can still make out the shape, form and structure of the original, but it’s now bent almost beyond recognition, into something strange and fascinating.

‘Holding Hands With Jamie’ doesn’t sit still for long enough to fully grasp what it is about or where it’s going – it’s a continually moving, evading and tantalising post-punk album that makes the listener chase its wild and uncompromising trail. It shakes off genre associations and band comparisons with gargling confidence. Nothing – or nobody – else sounds like Girl Band at the moment and they seem to relish in their own demented yet deeply exhilarating creations.


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