Earlier this year Belfast, Northern Ireland’s Girls Names unleashed their scorcher of a debut album. Its bright pop sensibility broke through clouds of gray that you would expect to find from a band that makes the northern reaches of the island of Ireland their home. Its a moody little thing that takes the soaring vocal cues from 60’s girl groups while the music tends towards 80’s post punk. Shake the Boggle container and and the letters that formed Girls Names now read Sea Pinks. The whole band move one space to the left (or right). Drummer Neil Brogan moves out from behind his kit to play guitar and sing while bassist Clair Miskimmin takes his place at drums and Girls Names singer/guitarist Cathal Cully becomes the bassist.
Sea Pinks have just released their first album in a super limited way of only 250 copies. It follows a cassette and a 12″ ep. Sea Pinks are of course cut from the same cloth as Girls Names, but Brogan’s songs have more of a 50’s rock n’ roll bent to them. The song Dead Seas takes it’s cue from Elvis Presley‘s Marie’s the Name of His Latest Flame (and the Smiths‘ Rusholm Ruffians?) and Harbour Shake shimmies like a sock hop. His guitar playing is janglier too. I bet he’s listened to a few Byrds records because Fountain Tesserae jangles like it was 1967. The record also has some swagger in Oh London, Heir Apparent. Both brim with an infectious confidence that has made this record continue to grow on me. Sea Pinks won’t change your life with their jangly goodness, but they will make your life more bearable when you spin their record.
You can also download Sea Pinks’ Youth is Wasted album/demo for free at their bandcamp (It contains a cover of Felt’s Ballad of the Band).