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Girl Band Holding Hands with Jamie Rough Trade

At the time of this review being written, Girl Band have just pulled all of their scheduled tour dates through the end of 2015 due to health issues. Considering the fact that the Dublin natives spent most of last year making a name for themselves with ferociously energetic live shows – the mere concept of one or more of them being laid low for a while seems a touch unfathomable. They displayed plenty of promise over the course of a year or so’s relentless touring, too, and perhaps the only concern about their debut LP, when it did arrive, is that it wouldn’t quite channel the visceral vigour that has made them such an enthralling live prospect.

We needn’t have worried. Holding Hands with Jamie plays like a wholesale translation of the version of the band we’ve seen up on stage, with the fizz largely retained and some neat subtleties and nuanced weaved in throughout. Opener Umbongo sets the pace by taking a machine-gun attitude to both guitars and percussion, before collapsing into a discordant wall of noise that throbs with real urgency. Elsewhere, Paul, a discordant, noisy punk turn, is among the standouts, and it’s the near-eight-minute Fucking Butter that proves the beating heart of the record – just like Holding Hands with Jamie as a whole, it’s a hellishly noisy odyssey in vicious rock and roll.