It looked like Girls Names were really onto something a few years ago with their dark swirling Echo & the Bunnymen style rock but then their drummer left and that was followed by a crisis of confidence about the recordings that have turned into 'Stains of Silence'. However, re-grouped, refreshed the band have reworked the album and have created a short sharp work that they hope will stand up to the intense, jagged records that have influenced them.
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Like the world itself Girls Names music just seems to have got darker and bleaker over the last few years. Though the fact that they previously appeared on labels such as Captured Tracks and Slumberland would suggest (correctly) that there was a part of their sound that was brighter and poppier.
But this is bleak going on unbearable. The band seem to have spent their time away learning how to play synths and learning the discordant riffs of early PIL and figuring how to bury their vocals so far in reverb all you hear is a low rumble. It makes Eagulls sound happy by comparison. The best bits are where they rise out of the murk. Having survived the knife edge slog that is 'The Process' with it's Metal Box style bass riffs and vomits of goth rock vocals, 'The Impaled Mystique' comes something as light relief with some buzzing New Order synths.
It's fucking hard work which presumably means that it will be right up the street of certain listeners. The records last few tracks have a certain beauty about their deep despair which is lacking earlier in the record especially the title track with it's warm evocative synth lines. The band are better when they let you in a bit and invite the listener into their world. The world can be beautiful and Girls Names music can be too but it takes a long time to reach the point of them letting you hear it.
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- Stains on Silence by Girls Names
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