September Girls – Veneer

September Girls - Veneer

After reading the assorted publicity handouts for September Girls and their first release, I had a few expectations about how it would sound and also exactly what my reaction to it would be. The all female Dublin based five piece isn’t the first band I’ve found other commentators making comparisons with My Bloody Valentine, the JAMC and Spacemen 3, but I was already expecting something more from September Girls. This has a lot to do with another Dublin band making music with similar influences, the no longer exactly with us Sweet Jane (now known as Buffalo Son) whose 2010 album Sugar For My Soul is a really quite good example of how to take the most basic GaragePunk blueprint and move everything several steps forward. On went the headphones as I wondered if September Girls were going to do something very similar.

The four tracks that make up the EP do sound as if they weren’t recorded in sequence and specifically, the first and title track is a lot like an early demo recording salvaged to make up the track listing. Veneer is a creditable enough effort at agit punk of the classical variety, although it does sound raw and unfocused next to the other three tracks and its scratchy production doesn’t exactly do a lot for the song. Stay with September Girls though, as the rest of their EP is definitely the work of a band that knows exactly what it’s doing. “Black Oil” with its spoken word lyric and abrasive rhythm manages to sound both confrontational and vulnerable and it’s convincingly performed, leaving any doubts about September Girls abilities as a band in its reverberating wake.

“Melatonin” glides along with a tune borrowed from the Shangri-Las and a bluesy guitar riff while a mellow keyboard softens the sharper elements of the band sound and yes, it does recall something of Sweet Jane at their best. Final track “Butterflies” is similarly paced, although a more involved song with a kaleidoscopic intermingling of guitar, keyboard and drums which, while it has September Girls admitting that they’ve listened to one or more Cure albums, is all the more effective for that. Darkwave hasn’t sounded quite so cheerfully sinister for a while.

September Girls released an album earlier this year, the strangely titled “Cursing The Sea” and while not so very many people may have heard it or them, the Veneer EP is inevitably going to rekindle interest in that release. We’ve no excuses now.