Bitch Falcon’s Staring at Clocks arrives after a flurry of singles and an EP stretching back to 2015, marking a milestone in the band’s sonic evolution. Early efforts were more riff-focused and fuzzy, and their influences were easy to pin down, whereas Staring at Clocks artfully combines a whole host of styles to create a very distinct sound.
The first thing you’re confronted with is the hazy abrasion of ‘I’m Ready Now,’ which is danceable but noisy in equal measure. Persistent drums and bass lock down the lower end of the song, allowing vocalist and guitarist Lizzie Fitzpatrick to create gorgeous textures on top. The hypnotic wash of ‘Sold Youth‘ recalls bands like Preoccupations and their shoegazey take on post-punk. The thundering bass drives the song forward, and the dreamy hooks punctuate the rush of instruments.
The other side of the Bitch Falcon coin presents a much more angular, juddering front – especially present in the guitars all over the record. There are colourful guitar hooks in the mid-section of ‘How Did I Know?’ that recall a Biffy Clyro-esque way of drawing a memorable melody out of seemingly nowhere; their penchant for descending into outright noise at times also switches between slowly building intensity and sudden explosions, which makes Bitch Falcon really hard to pin down.
The subverted disco groove of ‘Gaslight‘ encapsulates the sounds Bitch Falcon are melding perfectly. It’s dancey yet obtuse in the rhythm section, but the Cocteau Twins-style vocals float above. The general vibe of the vocals throughout the record is more abstract, however when Bitch Falcon wanst to write a chorus, they absolutely can. Those moments where the noise focuses into short, sharp melodic elements really shine brightly.
Bitch Falcon’s Slowdive-meets-Joy Division styling is fed through a math-rock lens and the result is an impressive debut that delivers on a lot of potential, yet still shows promise for what’s to come next.
Staring at Clocks was released on 6th November via Small Pond.