- 06 Nov 20
Bitch Falcon's debut full-length perfectly scratches an itch for ethereal melodies and hard-hitting rhythms in its culmination of shoegaze and post punk.
Bitch Falcon’s debut record Staring at Clocks is a breathtaking dive into a world where atmospheric shoegaze meets the hard-hitting energy of post-punk. Relying on feedback as another musical tool and constantly edging on the sound of dissonance, Staring at Clocks is a polished culmination of everything Bitch Falcon has worked toward sonically in their last five years as a band.
The record opens up with squealing feedback and pungently chugging guitars on ‘I’m Ready Now’ before diving into a loud, high-energy post punk track, glued together by catchy hooks. It’s a track that’s constantly verging on the edge of chaos, juxtaposing polished melodies with walls of noise -- a method used consistently on the record, to Bitch Falcon’s advantage. Later ‘Gaslight’ rivals it as another heavy-hitter, with some of the loudest and fuzziest tones of the 10 tracks that verge on the hardcore genre. Atmospheric reprieve makes up a large chunk of ‘Gaslight,’ once again showcasing an instinct for sonic balance.
Guitar sounds range from grungy to polished and clean, and the heavy injection of shoegaze on next track ‘Sold Youth’ instantly shows the listener the range of sounds the band is capable of. It’s simultaneously ethereal and aggressive, sucking the listener into lulls before slamming into the chugging guitars that dictate their sound. Later title track ‘Staring at Clocks’ hits similar notes, a nearly-angelic soundscape of fuzzy synths and tight, clean melodies jarringly erupting into squealing, melodic hardcore. It’s hard to predict what sound will come next, and that’s what keeps the record so exciting.
‘Turned to Gold’ emerges as one of the record’s highlights with its incredibly satisfying build up during the song’s bridge, sucking the listener in like a whirlpool with hypnotizing noise and harmonies before a breathtaking conclusion. Bitch Falcon showcases their talent in turning harsh sounds into something beautiful. The heavy amount of feedback never feels unnecessary. On the contrary, it’s another layer of satisfaction as each song chugs along, and almost makes each recorded track feel like a live performance.
Staring at Clocks is sure to be the record that shoots Bitch Falcon into the mainstream of Irish post punk greats. It feels heavily influenced by the genre-defining sounds of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, meshing harsh noise with catchy hooks with a welcome surprise around every corner. For those intrigued by shoegaze but put off by its potential meandering or those bored of the modern post punk tropes, Staring at Clocks is a great listen that’ll scratch the itch for ethereal melodies and fast-paced rhythm.