Audio Mixer: Sean Coleman .
Photographer: Jeannie O'Brien.
Noisy Irish quintet September Girls shed any remaining indie pop affectations on their cavernous sophomore album, Age of Indignation. It's a sound that was hinted at on their 2014 EP, Veneer, but arrives here more fully formed in a sprawling mass of tension and anger. While their debut was largely a self-recorded affair akin to the type of lo-fi, girl-group, and garage pop of bands like Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls, Age of Indignation's vaulting presence was honed in a proper Dublin recording studio, though it would be a stretch to call the album polished. Managing to come across as both austere and feral, September Girls' hall of reverb has increased in acreage, but they favor a more post-punk sound shot through with bright glimmers of harmony and savage stabs of static. Along with the more sober stylistic change comes a fierce new confidence as they attack weighty social and political subjects like on the ambitious, multi-part "Catholic Guilt" and punchy lead single "Love No One." With four capable singers in bassist Paula Cullen, keyboardist Lauren Kerchner, and guitarists Caoimhe Derwin and Jessie Ward, September Girls are able to seamlessly swap lines and fall in and out of harmony at a moment's notice, often within the same song, as on the standout cut "John of Gods." At times, the heaviness of both the production and material weighs a little too heavily, begging for the kind of sunny pop touch the band has proven capable of, but ultimately, Age of Indignation is a significant artistic leap forward for the band. ~ Timothy Monger