Columbia Mills: CCTV – Dublin band is definitely one to watch

Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 05:00



Columbia Mills



They borrow their name from an old nightclub in Dublin’s docklands, so you can guess that Columbia Mills’ musical style isn’t folk balladry or chamber pop. The five-piece forged their sound via influences from both the rock and the dance worlds, as heard on their 2017 debut – a record that earned them comparisons to bands such as The National and Joy Division.

Their second offering is more of the same measured indie rock-style balladry, frontman Fiachra Treacy’s vocal alternating between a murmur (as heard on You’re Not the Answer and the brisk Strange Game) and a hesitant soar, depending on the song.

Just when you think you’ve got them pegged, however, a song like Car Crash TV blooms into life with electronics, while Isolate is the New Order b-side that never was. The buzzy, dynamic The Greatest Love is the best song here, allowing a jittery dance beat to be organically enveloped within an indie rock song.

It’s mostly convincing and enjoyable stuff, although the synth-led Heart and Soul tries a bit too hard to capture The Killers at their dullest, and Trees is too by-the-numbers to inspire any sort of reaction.

Are Columbia Mills a guitar band who dabble in electronics, or an electronic band with guitars? As long as they continue to develop their sound as evidenced on this album, that doesn’t really matter.