Stephen is a fan of Pop music…
Arriving on the NOISE desk of delight this morning was Pop music, the debut EP from Dublin upstarts Womens Murder Club. With an average age of 20, I am hoping to see Gerard, Cian, Sean, Jack and Fionn with their own take on the infamous Beatles t-shirt sooner rather than later. If great band names and great ‘pop music’ are the order of the day, then i’m all in.
I often attempt to put myself in the shoes of a 20 year old these days – not with great success, may I add – for I am surrounded by many as a mature student. They sometimes puzzle me but also enlighten me with their view of the modern world. In many cases, I can’t help but refer to them as the ‘selfish generation’. So much so that the phrase has become an in joke with friends, more often than not in a humorous way. Selfish however is not a word that comes to mind with Womens Murder Club. They have made the call to make their first dip in the ocean free, downloadable from their bandcamp in all its stereo glory. If you’re a Factory Records/Creation guy or girl, chances are you’ll take to these kids like a duck to water.
The EP opens with a minimalist approach. Bravely the guitars are put down as ‘Game’ enlightens us with some sonically sculptured strings playing the main role. Sean gives us a look into the world from his eyes, delving into the “designs and dreams” of his contemporaries. He instead opts for a gentle gust of vibraphones and harmonies. Although that may sound like a Hawaiian summer, it couldn’t be further from it, instead becoming a call to arms for hope and survival.
‘Brut’ takes us on a cold walk through an industrial landscape, channeling the sound of the working class both lyrically and musically. “shake and fall it’s cold”, sings sean as fionn goes all Stephen Morris with some tasty tom fills on the drums. ‘Interlude’ does what it says on the tin – two and a half minutes of softly drifting atmospheric synth pads, like standing on the bay watching a mammoth wave descend into a gentle ripple brushing over the top of your feet.
What surprises me is how mature this debut is for such a young bunch, EP highlight ‘L.I.P. (Love Is Pain)’ being a prime example. It has the sound of a lost 90′s indie gem, somewhere between the honesty of Ian McCulloch and the romanticism of Robert Smith, reaching a crescendo with a wall of noise outro and once again some fine drum chops that go to show what these boys are really capable of. There are many times on this debut where I’d take my hat off to them.
EP closer ‘Come in again’ being the perfect closing example. What’s great about starting out is the balls on the table approach. The thing is, Womens Murder Club don’t let any notions of grandeur come into play in doing so. Even with a small recording budget and a track like ‘L.I.P.’ they fulfill their vision. Its wonderfully crafted string sections and marching drums result in a spotlessly produced gem. you’d imagine a track like this could easily be granted the Rough Trade stamp if Mr. Travis was fortunate enough. In a way though, the naivety of the last fill (ending with a three hit snare/tom build before a final wallop of the crash cymbals) seals the whole deal with a stamp of its own. Although the guitars have wrapped up and they could have easily settled for a quick fade, the drum ending gives us that “there you go” conclusion. If they can knock this kind of stuff out now, imagine the ‘pop music’ they may be capable of knocking out in the future.