Album review: September Girls’s “Cursing the Sea”
Irish all-woman noise-pop group releases full-length debut.
After receiving generally positive reviews in their native Ireland, noise-pop group September Girls’ debut album is sure to make waves this side of the Atlantic.
Still underground enough to be lumped with indie pop, yet sprightly enough to hold its own against current Top 40 favorites, Cursing the Sea is a reverb-heavy album with just a tinge of punk.
With September Girls being an all-girl European band, the obvious comparison is the Spice Girls. But bubblegum pop this is not. Think grungy, garage rock with a pop twist — like a fuzzier and oddly danceable Hole album.
The Dublin-bred quintet begins the album with the title track before going into “Another Love Song,” an alt-pop track that wouldn’t feel the least bit out of place on a late No Doubt album. Midway through, the album features the angsty pop-rock “Talking,” which could easily pass for a Sky Ferreira B-side.
The album closes with “Sister,” a track that’s equal parts eerie and upbeat, with its gloomy wails and its uptempo drumbeat.
While the lyrics to many of the songs are obscured by the buzzy reverb that is featured so prominently on the album, it’s the music that really matters here, and guitarists Caoimhe Derwin and Jessie Ward hold their own against Paula Cullen and Lauren Kerchner’s crooning (Ward also doubles as the group’s third vocalist). Rounding out the band is drummer Sarah Grimes, whose steady beats give life to this delightfully eerie album.
MOVE gives Cursing the Sea 4 out of 5 stars.