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Gilla Band: “Post Ryan” Track Review

The songs of the Gilla Band are claustrophobic rooms with a door to enter and no way out: tense scenarios seen through the eyes of someone suffering from anxiety and suffocating paranoia. On “Post Ryan,” the closing track from the band’s upcoming album The most normal, Irish noise rockers deliver one of their most unnerving examples to date. Centered around a distorted interpolation of the beat from the Flock of Seagulls hit “I Ran (So Far Away)”, “Post Ryan” is a soliloquy gone wild. As if rushing to ground himself, singer Dara Kiely describes the things he sees – a bald barber, the crushed shell of a snail – before giving in to an “inevitable depression”. “I’m in between breakdowns/Constantly recovering/I’m just the same asshole,” he deadpans. “I’ll end up homeless / I hid behind the surreal.” The self-exposure is so raw that Kiely had to walk away when he originally played the vocal demo for his bandmates.

But instead of letting Kiely squirm in the spotlight, the rest of the Gilla Band amplifies his mental spiral: a buzzing bass line rises and falls like a sine wave, mimicking the nauseating movement of a carnival ride Music Express; the whine of the guitar sways in space, giving the illusion that something sharp and metallic is just missing your head; the bouncy pop drumbeat shifts in pitch and volume, as if a loose screw is one step away from collapsing. As the song swells with loud dissonance, Kiely begins to berate himself. “Inevitable depression when I do nothing,” he sings repeatedly. You can practically hear his head spinning. Suddenly, “Post Ryan” comes to an abrupt end. It’s time to get off the ride, the sour taste of bile tingling in the back of your throat.

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