An apt title for 2020, but one that would still resonate without the current social hellscape we’re living through, Bitch Falcon’s debut album Staring At Clocks is a blistering cacophony of grunge, post-punk and shoegaze inspired sounds. Set for release via Small Pond Records on 6th November, the Dublin trio’s first full length record sees them effortlessly galvanize their melodic tendencies with their trademark heaviness, resulting in a visceral yet graceful collection of noise.
Bitch Falcon have been cutting their teeth on the Irish and UK live circuits for the past few years, sharing stages with Girl Band, Fontaines DC, Torche, Black Peaks and Pussy Riot, as well as playing live for GIHE back in 2017. Since then, the band have been carefully channelling their formidable live presence into polished recordings, and Staring At Clocks is proof that they’ve mastered this craft. Opener ‘I’m Ready Now’ feels like an affirmation of this, filled with drummer Nigel Kenny’s racing beats, Barry O’Sullivan’s thundering bass lines and Lizzie Fitzpatrick’s powerhouse vocals.
‘Sold Youth’ intoxicates with its swirling grungy melodies, followed by the rapturous splendour of ‘Turned To Gold’. Despite being about the exhaustion that comes with stretching yourself emotionally thin for a loved one, the restless riffs and charged percussion on ‘How Did I Know?’ provide a fierce catharsis. The eponymous ‘Staring At Clocks’ is permeated by Fitzpatrick’s dreamy vocals, building towards a riotous outro full of bruising bass lines, manic guitar sounds and relentless drums. Exploring the fleeting feelings of running away and escaping your situation, ‘Test Trip’ is a formidable fluctuation of soothing and abrasive elements.
Effortlessly switching from a savage scream to a sublime extended yearning, Fitzpatrick’s elastic vocal ability never fails to impress throughout the record, and admiration for her natural talent swells with each listen. On ‘Martyr’, ‘Damp Breath’ and ‘Gaslight’ in particular, there’s even echoes of the mighty Bjork during her ‘Army Of Me’ era. Fitzpatrick’s intuition for knowing exactly when to unleash a cord-ripper, or to lull listeners with a hushed intonation is matched by Kenny’s razor sharp cymbal strikes and O’Sullivan’s brooding bass hooks, and epic closing track ‘Harvester’ is a clear amalgamation of these talents.
An enviably strong debut, Staring At Clocks is propelled by gritty riffs, urgent vocals and a striking awareness of what it means to take your time, to reflect on what you’ve been through and to charge on through the dissonance. Bitch Falcon should take pride in this immense first full length offering, and we can’t wait to hear it live when the coast is eventually clear.
Pre-order your copy of Staring At Clocks from bandcamp.