GIRLS NAMES hail from Belfast but instead of describing themselves primarily as an Irish, Northern Irish, Ulster, or British band, they regarded themselves, first and foremost, as a European band.
“We look to Europe for inspiration. For romance. For the idea of a better life,” says frontman Cathal Cully, and indeed on their most recent album, Arms Around A Vision, released in October by Tough Love Records, the quartet display a noticeably continental sound and aesthetic drawing on such diverse influences as Italian futurism, Russian constructivism, German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, and David Bowie's 'Berlin Trilogy'.
The band have also released a new single, 'Reticence', which is the opening track on Arms Around A Vision:
Girls Names initially formed as a two-piece back in 2010, releasing a handful of EPs and three albums, with 2013's The New Life proving an unexpected underground hi, culminating in nominations for both the Northern Irish and Irish music prizes. Today their sound embraces the traditional bass, drum, and guitar format, but, again, drawing on the tradition of experimental German rock, they also incorporate saxophones, organs, detuned broken guitars and pianos, and sheets of metal assaulted with hammers.
The Sunday Times has described their music as melding "Sonic Youth’s dissonance with New Order’s dystopian dance". Brooklyn Vegan said, "while they're still indebted to early '80s post-punk, they've really made it their own - snarling, bleak and very compelling."
Speaking about being in a band, Cully says: “I'm not starving or anything, but I've practically been living hand to mouth since I was 22. Most guitar music now is just a playground for the rich middle classes and it's really boring and elitist. We're elitist in our own way, in that we're on our own and you can't f**k with us when we’ve nothing to lose”.
Girls Names play Strange Brew at the Róisín Dubh on Thursday February 25. Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.