Girls In Synthesis – ‘Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future’

By Andy Joice

London-based trio Girls In Synthesis don’t play by the rules. The experimental post-punk outfit may technically be DIY – creating their videos, artwork, and records themselves – but their music is anything but. Chunky, discordant and almost indescribable, it’s a mess of sounds that take inspiration from numerous genres, but are knitted together flawlessly. Given the extreme nature of their live shows, debut album ‘Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future’ has a lot to live up to. Can it match the frantic, electrically charged live experience? In a word, yes.

Opening with ‘Arterial Movements’, you’re immediately met with a solid screech of distortion before wildly beaten drums and strings, pushed until they’re barely distinguishable, embrace you in an almost claustrophobic hug. Very much bass led, John Linger’s rhythmic riff underpins the entire track and allows guitarist Jim Cubitt to meander over the top of the verses, adding layers of depth with the ever-present distortion.

On the forefront of societal observations, ‘The Images Agree’ reflects the oversaturation of misinformation from mass media. A powerhouse that rings with bass driven melodies, the rhythmic drumming from Nicole Pinto works as a musical analogy for the repetitive nature of modern media. Coupled with the despair in Linger’s voice as he asks “Who listens to me?”, it’s a plea to everyone to stop themselves being manipulated by the tabloids.

‘Human Frailty’ slows the record down a fraction, with a gradual, almost hypnotic build up. As the title suggests, it reflects the fragility of human life, and the inability to stop the impending march to death. Almost nausea inducing (in a good way), its long drones and squeals create a sonic ambience that feels borderline uncomfortable, yet forces you to stare it straight in the mouth. Its glory is in its emptiness – where the rest of the album bombards you with constant noise, the lack of it becomes all the more noticeable.

Immediately following it is ‘They’re Not Listening’, a damning fuck you to the right-wing. The chorus line, “You can make all the noise you want but they’re not listening” is unashamedly blunt, pointing a clear finger at the those who’ve put the working class into disarray. Brimming with venom, it harkens back to early Black Flag, akin to Henry Rollins spitting his way through ‘Rise Above’.

Penultimate track ‘Set Up To Fail’ starts with feedback, before a thick rhythm section kicks into life. There’s an essence of The Germs to it, with screeching guitars, almost slurred vocals, and rhythms working in perfect unison. Midway through, though, there’s a sudden change in direction, with the whining distortion of the guitar taking centre stage, peppered with a smattering of brass. It’s a bit of a leftfield choice that shouldn’t work, but with its chaotic nature, it fits weirdly well. Think free-jazz meets industrial proto-punk and you’re likely halfway there.

There are some big ideas within ‘Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future’. Never ones to stand back in the shadows, the subjects range from track to track, tackling these big ideas in big ways. Sonically, the walls of noise they create are denser than concrete, and about as heavy too. It teeters on the verge of becoming overwhelming, but it’s a line that’s tiptoed to perfection. As debut albums go, it’s outstandingly good, able to be hung on the annuls of any post-punk gallery. Given Girls In Synthesis’ approach to everything, this isn’t just music – it’s art.

ANDY JOICE

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