by Caitlin Baldridge
September Girls’ debut album Cursing the Sea is a hodgepodge of unpolished punk-rock encased with vocals deeply drowning in reverb which never come up for air. Named after a Big Star song, the girls coming from Dublin, Ireland, have created a very fuzzy, garage rock album and they’ve found exactly how they like to create music and don’t take any chances on mixing up the drumbeat or vocals.
The heavy reverb of the vocals blends the electric tweak-y guitar and hammering drums together in a lo-fi fusion that sometimes sounds like it belongs in the 1990’s at a beach party with tracks like “Talking,” and sometimes reflects the influence of classic rock group the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” with the track “Green Eyed.” The reverb doesn’t distract from the lyrics because they’re moderately interesting at best, with themes of irritating ex-boyfriends and as per the album title, seas. Some songs show promise though, like “Ships” with enticing lyrics “How long must I be lost at sea / Take these pills and swallow me”.
The 1990’s garage rock influences drag on throughout the album, with harmonies resembling the Ramones in track “Heartbeats,” while the indistinguishable vocals could link them to modern bands like Youth Lagoon. The relevance of September Girls is present, even if the album all sounds the same. It’s perfect for background music at parties, but I can also imagine that the girls rock out on stage. Cursing the Sea is engaging at times, even if it recycles through a limited amount of themes and it does nothing to step out of its comfort zone.