Gilla Band: “Most Normal” album review – the sound of pure + dirty Irish noise


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Rating: 4 out of 5.

When 2015 Lawman was earmarked into an opening scene in the sixth series of Peaky Blinders, it may give you exactly the right idea in what kind of band Gilla Band are. As dark and unsettling as the Shelby family were, it is the perfect drop to such a setting, as Thomas Shelby strides through the hollowed streets of Birmingham.

Best described as eerie turbulence on a plane bound for disaster, Gilla Band are the next up-and-comers in the stocks for noisy Irish post-punk. Now, they are back with their third studio release, Most Normal. Released this Friday gone, it features stagnant white noise, incoherent vocal static and an eruption of guitar/drum indentation within it. Diagnosis? All the right components to make up a truly chaotic album from the Dublin 4-piece.

Lawman (2015) used in the opening scene of BBC Peaky Blinders Series 6 (February 2022)

Like a state of free-falling with no means of slowing down, it is very much a progressive statement of a new nightmarish alternative, in the same way it is a majestic exploration of the infinite possibilities of noise. Most Normal is most certainly not.

This is evident enough in Backwash, an undulating straight-edged pulse of losing your spirit enough to seemingly drive your head into a wall over and over again: “Hello,” he went to the sink and put Vaseline on a trout / “Hello,” eventually spoke like a wheel on a basking shark / He advises it, revises a bit and too much to be ignored / And then hе saw a wall, a wall, a wall, a wall, a wall, a wall.” Untenable lyricism adds to the intensity and insanity while Post Ryan – the second single released – is a breakdown of someone lost in recovery, all to just declare “I’m just the same prick.

This album is very much an exploration of noise and the evidence begins to stack up when you begin to listen to some of the other songs offered up here. Bin Liner Fashion is a distorted fever dream while 6-minute runtime of The Weirds is quite possibly at their most experimental. Almost Soon starts out as something sort of a ‘normal’ punk rock work but soon falls down the inevitable Gilla Band chasm. The interpolated Pratfall and Gushie add more haggard flavours to the mix, almost as if they left the guitars too close to their amps.

It’s certainly not for everyone, if you like your post-punk to sit within a rigid box of expectants. But like with any other post-punk, it doesn’t like to be boxed in and Gilla Band take this feeling with them all the way. to the bank. Creating exactly what they want to create, it’s what the work of post-punk modernism should be all about. Explorational noise limitless to capability or reason.

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