A vital piece of feminist work, set to staggeringly good punk noise
Charlie Brock
12:02 28th October 2021

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M(h)aol are Ireland’s latest post-punk export, and their brand of punk noise and politically-charged lyricism make the band’s debut EP Gender Studies a total pleasure to listen to. 

There is certainly something in the water across the Irish Sea, something that breeds next level post-punk. From The Murder Capital to Fontaines D.C. and everything in between, Irish punks are making a big splash. None more so than M(h)aol, whose debut EP channels political rage, with cutting lyrics set to industrial post-punk. 

The EP opens with 'Desperation Desperation', an upbeat number with overarching menace. M(h)aol don’t shy away from discussing topics that other bands may steer clear from, such as gender, violence against women and the mysoginistic nature of the music scene. This is without doubt a vital piece of feminist work, set to staggeringly good punk noise. 

The title track is a real standout from the EP—the cut channels the sound of Interpol, with vocalist Róisín Nic Ghearailt discussing gender identity over scratchy, fuzzy guitar and feedback. M(h)aol don’t hold back and they don’t give you a moment to collect your thoughts before they launch into 'Kinder Bueno', a 50-second cut that sounds like Nirvana basement tapes with thunderous drums and guitar that soon dissipate into nothingness. 

'Laundries Laundries' is a haunting number, raging against the violence that women face on a daily basis, as well as speaking on the Magdalene Laundries, whose violent and misogynistic methods tormented Irish women for decades. M(h)aol tackles these topics tactfully, but they do not hold back when it comes to slamming sexist practices in the modern world and music scene. 

Latest single 'No One Ever Talks To Us' follows this pattern by calling out men who are only interested in talking to women to use them for sex. The EP closes out with the hauntingly beautiful 'Oro Oro', a track that would be at home on the score of a tense thriller flick: the melodic vocals and the tense, anxious feedback make this a beautiful closer to the Gender Studies EP. 

M(h)aol have hit the nail on the head here. They take on issues of gender and sexism with righteous anger, representing the violence that women face daily. Gender Studies is one of the most important pieces of political art released this year.

Gender Studies EP arrives 29 October via TULLE.

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Photo: Press