Bitch Falcon first came to our attention six years ago, making our 2015 Plec Picks. Since then, the trio have undergone some line-up changes while building an increasingly impressive body of singles, releasing their self-titled EP in 2018 and plying their well-honed craft to an ever-growing, insatiable live following.
Well, the wait has been more than worth it. ‘Staring At Clocks’ is not so much an introduction to the power trio (Lizzie Fitzpatrick – guitar, vocals, Barry O’Sullivan – bass, Nigel Kenny – drums) as it is an affirmation that good things take time. The band has more than refined its sound – lusty, beefy and poised, solidified by the thunderous rhythms of O’Sullivan and Kenny with the arresting Fitzpatrick commandeering the rest.
Bass-driven opener I’m Ready Now sees rhythms somewhere between primal and motorik giving way to precise, Geordie Walker-esque guitar arpeggios. Meanwhile, Turned To Gold shimmers with fluttering synths and gorgeously reverberated guitars. All of these recurring sonic tropes are buoyed by Fitzpatrick’s distinctive, beguiling vocal.
Damp Breath and How Did I Know sear with an immediacy the modern would-be punks can only dream about. Though there are reference points (Elisabeth Fraser of the aforementioned Cocteau Twins on Sold Youth and Sinead O’Connor at her most ferocious on Gaslight), her performance on Staring at Clocks is beyond compare, at times equal parts dreamy and dominant, the constant red hot flame burning through the cavern of sound the trio have built.
Although nu gaze has been done before, bands like My Vitriol made it look like rocket science and others like Silversun Pickups lacked conviction. On ‘Staring at Clocks’, Bitch Falcon perfect the grunge/shoegaze/little bit of something else template, making it everything their predecessors never could – dangerous, sexy, and seemingly so, so simple.