Morbid atmospheres, a deadpanning vocalist, and reverb-laden guitars with a bit a chorus flange. It’s a bit difficult to think about Icelandic quartet Girls Names without The Cure or Joy Division passing through your head at least once. The music video for “The New Life” even features a visual aesthetic similar to the cover of the latter’s epochal Unknown Pleasures. But, if there’s one thing that The New Life – Girls Names’ sophomore LP – teaches, it’s that lo-fi detachment is a path that’s best tread lightly. Joy Division stabbed at hollowness with a combination of malaise and nihilism through those reverberating guitars and Ian Curtis’ devastating presence. The New Life, on the other hand, was just…well, hollow, vocalist Cathal Cully ghostly rather than cathartic. That record was a disappointment after Girls Names’ debut LP, Dead To Me, which burst with life, contrary to its title. In another unintentional tinge of irony, Girls Names don’t sound at all renewed or even alive for a majority of The Next Life EP, the projects further pulling the band away from Dead to Me’s sparkle, with even duller results.