September Girls are a noisy ball of energy, combining shoegaze distortion and dissonance with deft pop sensibilities. Veneer is the new EP by the Dublin group coming at the heels of their January 2014 album Cursing the Sea. Although it may be tempting to compare two all female bands on the basis of the gender composition alone, I would say that there were quite a few similarities between Warpaint and September Girls as of their last album Cursing the Sea to justify the comparison. Both bands have a very reverb heavy droning sound quality, however the September Girls give an overall tighter presentation while Warpaint tends towards more of a psychedelic long-winded jamband feel.
The beginning of Veneer opens with a change in sonic direction for the group. The track that shares the same name as the EP comes off as quite a bit heavier than September Girls previous effort. A massive distorted fuzz bass riff accompanies frenzied drumming to bring together a very strong opening number for the band. “Black Oil” continues the trend set by “Veneer” and starts with a wall of distortion and feedback. “Black Oil” then coalesces into what may be best described as a manic My Bloody Valentine’s take on a surf song. This all set to the cryptic lyrics of “If I could swim I’d be dead right now” makes for an effective entry in the LP.
“Melatonin” however makes a return towards their previous output, with clean tremelo guitars and more of the droning quality seen with their last album. “Melatonin” manages to keep up the tempo and remains engaging throughout. “Butterflies” is what I would call the strongest song on the album. While being somewhat more down tempo than the other songs on the EP as a whole it has the most solid footing. The distorted guitar and bass mix well with the organ and vocals and the song maintains a great discourse between sections and good dynamics.
I like the change in sound for the September Girls if Veneer is any indication of what direction the group is heading. The track “Butterflies” especially exemplifies some unique sensibilities that I would like to see more of in their future work.