Since the release of their debut single Clementine in 2015, M(h)aol has demanded our attention, seven years on we are still enamoured. M(h)aol’s debut album ‘Attachment Styles’ navigates the realms of feminist post-punk with ease, dragging us into dissonant and abrasive soundscapes accompanied by unflinching candid lyricism.
Asking For It opens the album with stumbling bass lines alongside menacing shuddering guitar, lending itself to a sense of foreboding. Vocalist Róisín Nic Ghearailt is not known for mincing her words and she will not start now. The track refuses to shy away from the subject matter of sexual assault, in fact, Nic Ghearailt is roaring about it, “was I asking for it?” she ponders before a screeching “no” plunges the track into a velvet-like pulsing whirlpool.
‘Attachment Styles’ is an album that ebbs and flows, both in subject matter and sonically. Tracks such as Bisexual Anxiety embody prose like social commentary on the experience of a bisexual woman and navigating queer spaces in the wake of erasure.
The album closes with Period Sex a funky track driven by bass and a laissez faire attitude towards personal sexuality. Opening the album with a track outlining the powerlessness of losing autonomy to finishing with one that celebrates personal autonomy will resonate with listeners long after the final seconds. “I want to make a mess” Nic Ghearailt asserts, and we as listeners urge her to do so.
‘Attachment Styles’ chronicles navigating the world as female presenting, from the loss of personal autonomy to embracing sexuality. The genre of post-punk as of late has felt drowned in the male perspective, it is refreshing to see a band like M(h)aol emerge from the waters.