Banríon’s second EP Dare to Crush is a bit bangin’.
These tracks – ‘Departure Party’ in particular – wouldn’t sound out of place being performed on the roof of the high school at the end of classic 90’s teen film 10 Things I Hate About You. However, when lead singer Róisín Ní Haicéid gives us lyrics like “Looked the landlord up and I/Burnt his house down in my mind”, the lens zooms in on Ireland in 2023.
Dare to Crush follows 2020’s Airport Dads, and much has changed in the interim; the lineup has shifted and the band has moved from their former drummer’s home in the West to the recording studio.
Robbie Stickland’s clanging guitar and the steady rhythm kept by bassist John Harding and drummer Cosmo Clarke are reminiscent of alt-rock bands from the late 80s to now, such as Mazzy Star, Soccer Mommy, and the angry crash of early Paramore. And they are in good company in Ireland’s rock scene alongside the likes of Pillow Queens and NewDad, to name a couple.
On ‘Fooling’, Ní Haicéid sings:
“I’ve got eggshells in my pockets
They break when I sit down, so I
Wash my jeans everyday
But they never get quite clean”.
The process of just about keeping yourself together, when that’s all you’re capable of doing permeates Dare to Crush.
A lot of distance is covered in this short EP, which consists of four tracks and two interludes; the interludes providing breathing space, and allowing the band to shift gear twice. From the resigned devastation of not being someone’s first choice played out in ‘First Love’, to ‘Fooling’s exploration of the disorientation that comes with going from being the person someone cares for to being their carer.
Who knows how much the group could achieve over the course of a full length studio album?
Hopefully, we’ll soon find out.