Worthy Of Recognition: The September Girls 'Age Of Indignation'
The September Girls emerged on the scene back in 2011, releasing their fuzz-laden hazy pop debut record 'Cursing the Sea' in 2014. It was an ambitious achievement and rightly received with much acclaim. Raising the stakes by multitudes, The Dublin-based quintet returns with their second album, Age of Indignation. 'Whilst Cursing the Sea' was impressive for a debut, their second release is by far superior, with the shimmery poppiness giving way to a denser and darker atmosphere.
'Age of Indignation' is a lengthy album – with opener "Ghost" coming in at over six and half minutes. This is a factor that ties in well with The September Girls’ transition into a more qualified shoegaze sound; the album’s tendency to get lost deep in dizzying reverb positions the band firmly alongside the likes of New York gazers, A Place to Bury Strangers. It’s all the more fitting, then, that the trio’s frontman Oliver Ackermann features on the album, providing vocals for "Jaw on the Floor".
The album flows almost seamlessly from start to finish – ending with the sensational "Wolves", making it somewhat of an odyssey of an album. Certainly, the individual tracks stand out on their own accord, but the beauty of 'Age of Indignation' is that it plays best when heard in its entirety. Were the band not as adept at mastering experimentation with noise as they are, it might have felt like the album dragged at times. But, alas, this is not the case.
The inklings and dabblings with reverb in 'Cursing the Sea' have become, on 'Age of Indignation', full-blown walls of sound. The September Girls’ greatest feat is their capability to balance their melodic vocals with ferocious noise - and there isn’t a point on the record where this balance goes askew. Yet, 'Age of Indignation' is more than just sonically superior; The September Girls touch on some interesting subjects – tackling religion, particularly the Catholic Church in Ireland on Catholic Guilt, social media on the title track and abuse on "Blue Eyes", amongst other issues.
The pairing of a simultaneously ethereal and eerie ambiance with important political themes sets 'Age of Indignation' up as phenomenal second release from The September Girls. The five-piece blend together well, whilst never drowning one another out. It’s nothing short of a masterpiece, and deserves to be granted the time to be heard in full.