Named after a Big Star song covered by The Bangles, all girl rock group September Girls rose from the ashes of The Chalets, Neosupervital and The Debutantes. With their individual members having being involved in those accomplished bands, there is little doubting of their pedigree. That in itself sets a certain level of expectation. Something run of the mill or middle of the road for a debut album just wouldn’t do.
‘Cursing The Sea’ has been in the works for a couple of years and has a very definite confident sound. Coming on like a garage rock cocktail of The Ramones and The Jesus And Mary Chain while being given a hefty shake by Kevin Shields, this fuzzed out blend pays its debts to influences without being a slave to them.
Some of the tracks on the album have been around for a while, such as Talking, Heartbeats and Green Eyed which have previously been released as singles. In the company of Cursing The Sea’s newer songs, the aforementioned tracks appeal has not diminished.
The twin dark rumbling guitars of Caoimhe Derwin and Jessie Ward permeate throughout the album and at their best they produce a riveting edginess such as on Left Behind, Another Love Song and Ships. The waves of reverb envelop and cascade around the album encasing the songs in a veneer of mystery. When you also factor in the barely there harmonies which are constructed Phil Spector like with plenty of echo, it encourages repeat listens. The nuances of the album reveal themselves over time with the dash of Someone New and the more melancholic Secret Lovers eventually standing out.
It may be only January but September Girls have already drawn a line in the sand that sets a high benchmark for other Irish bands to match in 2014.