Single Reviews: Bitch Falcon – ‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’

By on Wednesday, 12th April 2017 at 12:00 pm

Grunge band Bitch Falcon have been making serious waves in the Irish rock scene, putting them on par with the likes of Canadians Dilly Dally and L.A. scenesters Bleached. Over their 2 years as a band, they have released only a small handful of singles, two of which were released in the last few weeks. Both ‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’ present a very different side of Bitch Falcon.

‘Clutch’, released back in February, is raw, harsh and filled with emotion. Its lyrics touch on the inner torment when dealing with anxiety, frustration and the like. The video brings these feelings to life, as well as capturing almost perfectly an idea of what Bitch Falcon’s live shows generally are like. With a frontwoman as aggressive as Lizzie Fitzpatrick, that means energetic and in your face.

There is a fragile undercurrent to ‘Clutch’ that sits at the belly of harsh chords and visceral vocals, bringing a deeper level of emotion to the track. Naomi Macleod and Nigel Kenny sit at the helm of a driving rhythm section: with free reign over the vacant verses, it allows them to showcase some very tasteful playing, particularly in Macleod’s bass fills. Bursting into the chorus comes Fitzpatrick’s powerful and expressive vocal delivery as she screams, “and I want to see the beat in your heart!” With meaning behind every word, it’s hard to watch the video without feeling it is directed squarely at you. ‘Clutch’ is a powerful, emotive track that draws upon moments of weakness and feelings of vulnerability, and turns them into raw power and intolerance.

Bitch Falcon released their second single of 2017, titled ‘Syncope’, on the 5th of April. The track differs from ‘Clutch’ in a way that shows a simpler, groovier side to the band’s sound. With more of a focus on Fitzpatrick’s vocal melodies, it allows the music to accompany the topline, rather than leading the track like in ‘Clutch.’ However, don’t take this to mean less effort has taken by the band, because I assure you, they haven’t.

‘Syncope’ sits on a tight, heavy riff reminiscent of a weightier, ballsier ‘Hash Pipe’ by Weezer, but with more attitude. Palm-muted guitars and a sharp, disjointed vocal delivery give the track its bouncy groove, and its simplicity allows for a more fleshed out, melodic topline. Unlike ‘Clutch’, which presents a busier side to the band’s playing, ‘Syncope’ relies heavily on tight rhythms and strong musicality to please the listener. As for the video, it stars four leather-clad female misfits named Stun Hun, Pyro, Miss Scarleh and Mary, intent on causing trouble in their town. The song and video have nothing in common, but it presents playful side of Bitch Falcon that helps set them aside from the serious, menacing grunge band that their music might otherwise characterise them as.

‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’ are two very different songs that vividly show two equally exciting sides to the three-piece powerhouse that is Bitch Falcon. If this is what the band has to offer in the first quarter of 2017, we can’t wait to see what else they have to offer.

‘Clutch’: 9/10
‘Syncope’: 9/10

Singles ‘Clutch’ and ‘Syncope’ are available now from Irish grunge group Bitch Falcon. They’ll be showcasing next week at Canadian Music Week 2017. For a full list of artists scheduled to showcase at the festival, including the UK, American and Irish artists scheduled to appear, go here.

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