Saturday, 29 July 2017

Album of the Month: Alien She - Feeler

Photo: Fionn McCann


Alien She - No Way Out

Info: Alien She are a Dublin punk/rock n' roll trio. The band has a wide range of influences, from 60s melodic girl bands such as The Ronettes, to 77 punk bands such as Penetration, along with the riot girl movement of the 90's and New York bands such as Vivian Girls.

Aoife, poet and writer, and Katie, artist and solo performer found something magical in playing music together. Darragh, writer, producer and musician who plays power pop under the solo moniker Jon Dots, ties their vision together. They write their songs together, some coming from poems, some from personal experiences. On the 15th of September they will officially release their debut album 'Feeler'.

Opening with a dark and twisted deep bass-line, Feeler kicks off like an out of control rocket, with Alien She instantly presenting us with their punk-rock credentials. The low intonation of the vocal harmonies and jerking shifts in the tempo of the percussion pull you forward and then back with a jolt just as the track reaches its finale, we're off to a very interesting start here.

Second track 'No Way Out' (above) sees the trio dip their toes in a classic surf-rock sound with some nice 50's-styled guitar riffs, its catchy upbeat tempo filling every second of its just shy of two minutes duration, Alien She do short and snappy very well, but as we'll soon find out, they are just as much at home with longer and more explorative tracks.


Alien She - Medicating

Back to their off-beat punk style, we reach the shoegaze sounds of 'Cover The Hole', a key highlight on the album, and again the vocals and harmonies are a source of intrigue. Fusing My Bloody Valentine meets Sonic Youth guitars, the rising crescendos throughout the track give it a sinister yet slow-burning energy that eventually becomes hypnotic and invigorating all at once. The band just about hold back from an all-out sound explosion and the addition of strings at the finale is perfectly in keeping with the overall mood of the song.

But behold, the blowout has arrived! The anarchic and chaotic raucousness of 'Feed Me' sees Alien She embrace all of the elements of hard-punk that so clearly inspires them in their song-writing and composition, once again their ability to lift you up and then drop you from a height without notice is executed nicely at the break at 1:37.

'Medicating' above tilts its cap to an undercurrent of Seattle grunge that peeps out from the punk shadows every now and again on Feeler. A rolling drum beat and rapid bass-lines contrast the nonchalant delivery of the vocals and visually you imagine an old tree trunk twisting slowly until it's on the verge of snapping. Next up is 'Solitary' which has a haunting 80's noir baroque pop energy, Blondie meets Depeche Mode in a sea of crashing sounds and jangle-pop guitars, and it's a thing of sheer and dark beauty.

Finishing with 'Death Sentence' which opens with a gorgeously bending echoed guitar riff, Alien She want to remind you why you're here, just in case you didn't get the memo by now. They save their ultimate moment of abandon for the curtain raiser, again, at the 2-minute mark the bass takes over from that opening riff, as thick as you'll hear, I could listen to that 13 second progression on loop for days. You're not a real punk band unless you know how to wield the anarchy within in an adept manner that transposes itself onto the listener, and bully me and you, Alien She have got it down on Feeler and then some.


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