D I (Why?) Punk as a lifestyle Addictive Philosophy Exclusive.... YOUR No.1 MUSIC REVIEW MAGAZINE
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Scarlet Street Candice Gordon The Depravations Introducing: Sarah Dooley Charwin Doppa Baby Godzilla Swords INTERVIEW Heavenâ€™s Basement
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At just the tender age of 16 Sarah Dooley from Dublin Ireland is taking YouTube by storm...
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Overoth Win Wacken Battle Ireland
On Saturday 26th April 2013, Belfast based death metal quartet Overoth emerged victorious from the Wacken Open Air Irish Metal Battle. The band fought off stiff competition over a number of weeks and through a number of live events which eventually led to the Irish finals last weekend in the Irish capital, Dublin. It was here that the band went head to head with five other finalists, 7 Days Dead, Bakken, Exzeltic, Killface & Zombified. Overoth will now go on to represent Ireland at Wacken Open Air, Germany this August and fight for victory on the world stage battling against a host of acts from all corners of the globe for a coveted pool of prizes including a record deal with the worlds biggest independent metal label Nuclear Blast. Listen to the title track from the debut Overoth full length album ‘Kingdom Of Shadows’. www.overoth.com
The Dirty Epics Join Mini Musicians To Launch love:live Music Festival
Electric pop band The Dirty Epics joined 4 year olds Thomas Maher and Lughán Ó Riagáinfrom Dublin for an impromptu musical performance in Dublin city centre to call on musicians and anyone with a love of live music around Ireland to take part in love:live music, Ireland’s National Music Day on the 21st June 2013. The musicians called on music lovers, music promoters and venue managers to arrange a free live music event. love:live music, which saw an estimated 45,000 take part in free live music events across the country in 2012, is coordinated by Music Network and funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. “Ireland is known throughout the world for our wealth of musicians and musical heritage and this is something we should celebrate. I would like to encourage everyone to take part in our National Music Day in some way – either by organising an event or coming out on the day to join in the celebrations” commented Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Last year love:live music saw over 300 free live music events organised with an impressive range of shows in schools, churches, libraries, pubs, outdoors and even on the train. Events in 2012 ranged from Scottish Pipes and Irish harps at Lochtar na Cua Standing Stones in Waterville, to Samba percussion performances, to White Collar Boy performing a full live set on the Heuston Dublin to Waterford train for commuters. Organisers are hoping that this year’s event will be another success and are encouraging participants to be imaginative with their choice of venue.
“love:live music is very different to a regular music festival. It’s open to anyone (whether amateur or professional musicians) who wants to perform and showcases all styles of musical talent in really fun and imaginative spaces. It aims to popularise music making for the young and not so young from all social backgrounds” -commented Sharon Rollston, Music Network CEO. “There are no restrictions and we hope that music events of all kinds will be included – from rock & pop to traditional and jazz, from choral and classical to rhythm and blues whether you’re a seasoned performer or a first-time event organiser. Be imaginative with your event and venue and rope in friends, family and the local community to help” she continued. love:live music continues to go from strength to strength and participants will not only be joining up with hundreds of participants around Ireland, but also joining the thousands of musicians who’ll be performing at events in 120 countries around the world as part of International Music Day. love:live music is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council. For further details log on to www.lovelivemusic.ie.
Bipolar Empire release new single in aid of suicide awareness
Dublin band Bipolar Empire have just released their new single ‘Why So Sad?’ to raise money for charity SOSAD. The band are donating 50% of the single’s proceeds to the SOSAD, a charity which aims to raise awareness of suicide in Ireland. This is an issue which has affected the band in the past, just as it has affected most people in Ireland in one way or another.
“We’re doing our best to try raise some money for the organization.” says drummer Callum McAdam.
SOSAD is a new charity, which aims at increasing awareness of suicide in Ireland, as well as getting rid of the stigma attached to it. The band’s new single can be downloaded for 99c on iTunes, and you can watch the video for ‘Why So Sad?’ below. www.facebook.com/bipolarempire www.musicreviewunsigned.com
D I (Why?) Punk as a lifestyle
Sophie Sparham tours around Ireland with UK ska outfit Addictive Philosophy
There’s no money in it, no fame and definitely no glory. So many people question why bands still opt for the underground DIY music scene. For the past four days the ska band ‘Addictive Philosophy’ have been in Ireland touring the country in a beaten old van, sleeping on floors, going to parties and playing amazing shows. Now they’re finally journeying home. As the band stare out at the miles of picturesque countryside stretched out before them, they think back to their time spent in the country. How many punks does it take to change a light bulb? Pinkie asks as the band travels back to stay at her house after the first night of the gig, “none, because punks can’t change a f**king thing.” She laughs ironically. This is a bold statement to make, especially from someone who’s been a punk for so long. However, although the band’s first Irish host can’t see it, she is already making a difference. Pinkie is one of the few real Anarco punks left in the country. She, like many of these people, fail to release that what has happened tonight wouldn’t happen at a normal gig. Due to the ferry being delayed, the band didn’t set off from Dublin for their first gig until nine o’clock. This wouldn’t have been a problem if the venue was ten minutes away. However, it wasn’t. In fact it was three hours away, all the way across the other side of Ireland in a place called Sligo. Where many bands would have given up and many pubs closed their doors, this doesn’t stop Addictive. The promoter, Jasper, has spoken to the bar and they’ve agreed to have a lock in if the band can make it for 12am. After speeding down the toll road, they make it and there are people on hand at the door to help them and a pub packed to the brim with red faced cheering locals as they set up their backline within the space of fifteen minutes. “Addictive Philosophy aren’t punk,” she adds, referring to the genre of their music, “they just do things the punk way.” This brings many to question what DIY is actually about. So what is ‘the punk way’, if it’s not to do with the sound of the music? “Punk’s about change, it’s about changing things,” says Gaz, a member of Jasper’s band sat back at the house. When asked what he
wants to change he replies with, “everything, everything in Ireland any, the rules, government laws,” he pauses, looking ponderous, before adding, “That’s a really hard question.” It is a seemingly difficult question. With so much needed to be done, where does a person start? The scene itself also has a lot of problems. Upon speaking to Jasper earlier in the evening, we find that this will be his last gig in Sligo. “I’m finished with it, when I started putting on gigs 19 years ago it was really f**king hard and now it’s still really f**king hard,” he states, having a cigarette after the show is over, “there’s no money in it, I’m only just breaking even and when I say breaking even, I mean being out of pocket.” This seems like a bizarre statement to make for someone that knows DIY is a non profit business. However all becomes clears, when he adds the unexpected comment, “It’s been levelled at me that people have stopped
“People get anarchy wrong all the time, what they don’t realise is that in order for things to change, you have to work within the system,”
coming to my gigs because I’m English.” When asked if this is a problem within the DIY scene, Jasper shakes his head. “No, it’s a problem within this part of Ireland.” This is where elitism raises its ugly head. “Addictive Philosophy were telling me that they weren’t respected in the punk scene until they played my wedding, I find that really sad as I’ve always thought they were grand,” says Pubz, upon meeting the band the following
night in Dublin. Pubz has been in the punk scene along time and is extremely well respected around Ireland. It is because of him that the band has been able to tour the country in the first place. He has made all the arrangements for their tour, he knows all the promoters who will happily put the guys on and will now join them as they journey through the rest of the country. It is people like Pubz that understands what punk truly means – inclusion. “People get anarchy wrong all the time, what they don’t realise is that in order for things to change, you have to work within the system,” says Gez, lead singer of Addictive, “outside of the band I run a non profit rehearsal studio, people say to me all the time, if you’re against capitalism then why don’t you let people use it for free? They don’t release I still have rent to pay on the building. You can’t leave the system completely. The problem with anarchy is people not doing anything, bumming around, claiming to be anarchists and getting money off their parents.” The gig in New Ross the following night marks the true meaning of DIY. As the bands arrive at the community centre, Connor, the owner, goes out of his way to make them feel at home by having vegan curry for all performers. There’s no stage, no division or boundaries, here the band play on the same level as the crowd. As Connor takes the band to his house, he tells them that the centre is closing down, due to the government pulling the funding, “We’ve been trying to fund raise ourselves
for two years, but we just can’t do it anymore.” Despite the sad news, when arriving to the house, they find piles and piles of books. “People started giving them to me,” he said, “so I’m going to open a second hand book store and rehearsal room. The band smile. That night Addictive sit round the bonfire with the other bands from the evening, telling stories and drinking into the early hours. As Addictive journey towards Cork for the last night of the tour, they begin to understand how inclusive the Irish punk community is. “In Ireland, the punk scene is a lot smaller, but more tightly knit, everybody knows everyone and people will travel to come to the gigs.” Says Pubz. He’s not wrong, as the band arrives at ‘Fred
Zepplins’, they see a familiar face waiting for them; the sound man from Sligo. “I’ve hitchhiked 450 kilometres, just to see this band,” he exclaims, as they buy him a Guinness for his effort. After another amazing gig, there’s no objection to him coming back with the band to the after party. “I knew we’d stay here,” the boy smiles as he walks through the door of the house, “this is the main punk house in Cork, it’s where everyone goes at the end of a night.” Joe, the owner, is happy to give up his beds for the band. This further emphasises the sense of community amongst the scene. “I’ve cooked for and given bands a place to stay that I have never met before, I know if I go somewhere like Derby they’ll do the same for me. It’s about community.” Says Bob, a
Addictive Philosophy with Pubz McWreckthegaff, Sophie Sparham, Anna Äddictive, Dan Brigstock, Gez l'Addictive, Caz Âddictive Cockeram and Alina Pendolina Airline in Tipperary, Ireland.
skinhead from the band ‘The Jollies’, one of the bands that played tonight. “People see my shaved head, shirt and doc martens and think I’m a racist. If you speak to me, I’m actually the furthest thing from that. We’ve had bands coming over from all over Europe and we’ll always look after them.” As the band drive back to Dublin, Gez reflects on their journey. “How many spray painted, patterned Mohicans did you see? About one.” He comments on the previous. “There was a complete range of people there from hippies to skins to those just in plain clothes and jeans like Connor. This is what people get wrong, they think of punk and they think of a bunch of people with Mohawks drinking cans and getting into fights. It’s not about that at all.” This statement sums up Addictive’s tour perfectly. Like any subculture, punk means something different to everyone. For some, it is just a style of music, a fashion sense, however for others DIY and punk means something much more. For these people, punk is an attitude, a lifestyle, not just angry music. In a way, Pinkie is right, nothing has actually changed, these select few have been living their lives like this for years, all scraping to get by and giving one another whatever they own. There has, and maybe never will, be a place for DIY in mainstream society, due to its grassroots approach and rejection of capitalism. Unlike mainstream society, it doesn’t put music on a pedestal: there are no fans or musicians, us and them scenarios, only people. So why do it? Because it’s real. www.facebook.com/AddictivepHilosopHy www.musicreviewunsigned.com
Interview by Jennifer Ormsby
ita Frith, Rosie Winter, Jennifer Davies and Rachel Cook are ‘’4 girls who’ve been brought together by our love and passion of music and performing, better known as Scarlet Street. Hailing from Newcastle the girls are a far cry from their counter parts of the Geordie Shore reality. The Scarlet Street story began in December of 2011 when Jen and Rachel sang in an allgirl traditional barbershop group. They recruited Zita who was singing at one of the events they were performing at, over coffee while they ‘’planned to take over the world with a new sound’’. They then went on a head hunt for a new member to complete the lineup and found Rosie on the social network giant, Facebook.
Not only content with their jobs in Scarlet Street all four girls all have careers to help ‘’fund our eyelash and shoe habits’’. With careers in accounting, performing arts and teaching assistants, these girls are the definition of beauty and brains. I asked all the girls to describe themselves in four words Jen would be ‘’a modern Mary Poppins’’, Zita is ‘’Sex on long legs’’ Rosie been the ‘’Geordie bundle of fun’ and Rachel the ‘’soul singing gin lover’’ very rock and roll. Rosie the baby of the group is the bands ‘’social media queen’’ with a very keen interest in been the stir fry maker and “being the blonde one”. Zita has a love of upholstery “my flat is filled with upholstery projects I’m working on”. Rachel describes her claim to fame as “sitting on Chesney Hawkes knee in Tiger Tiger while dressed as Little Bo Beep”. Jen has a pet name that changes all the time for each girl “they all answer to them”. The girls are taking over the music world with a different sound “we wanted to use those gorgeous close barbershop harmonies
and sounds, but bring them up to date with a fresh pop flavour. We think something special happens when we mix up the vintage vocals with modern beats and lyrics. We call it Barberpop” Which coincidentally is the title of their debut EP. Barberpop the Ep is filled with vocals that are pitch perfect and perfectly thought out beats, and it’s enough to get you hooked. The songs tell a story of love heartbreak and playing men at their own game, which is exactly what ladies want to hear. “we worked so hard on getting the final product ready” and the girls received plenty of positive feedback on the EP. The thing I love is that the girls packaged the EP themselves in candy pink striped sweet bags giving the old vintage look sealed with a scarlet street logo. Any girls that put that much effort into packaging deserve a blue peter badge. “Our EP launch night will go down in all our memories as one of the happiest nights of our lives”. Jen and Rachel write most of the songs with
rlet Street two of them featuring on their debut EP, with all the girls insisting they all chip in for new song ideas. When it comes to their YouTube covers its Jen and Zita who do the arranging, “they take current pop songs and give them their own vintage Scarlet Street twist”. Only these girls could take 5ive’s Keep on Moving and put their own stamp on it, I urge you to go check it out. “We just love singing together so any excuse for a sing-song and well take it.” The girls let me in on the secret of their recording sessions “we turn up at the studio nice and early, usually wielding lots of sugary treats to keep our energy up” even these four pretty ladies love their sugar fix. They also admitted to getting fits of the giggles during recording sessions to try easing the long hours and hard work they put in. Talking of inspirations the girls admit to be loyal fans of The Overtones adding “artists who bring vintage up to date”. In fact many people call Scarlet Street the female Overtones which is defiantly not a bad thing.
All the girls speak of vintage greats such as The Andrews Sisters and Vera Lynn as other influences. I couldn’t help but ask the girls do they hope that their music will inspire people, as humble as the girls are their reply was simple and elegant but also empowering “music is such a personal thing and if you can be inspired or moved by our music then we most definitely happy with that”. An interesting fact is that the girls are already receiving fan mail form 10 year old girls as well as men in their 20’s and the odd pensioner, quite a broad fan base. Not only have the girls found their niche in their vintage sound of Barberpop the girl’s quirky style will certainly get them noticed. A style that is equipped with items form the 1940’s like the eyeliner flick and the must haves on this season’s high street. “The style is all about combining key items from the vintage eras and mixing them up with modern fashion, just like we mix the old and new in our music, to make sure we stand out
from the crowd”. These girls are just four young women from Newcastle who are living their dreams. They hope to inspire young girls to do the same and “not be afraid to follow their dreams and put in some work”. These are definitely girls that can become role models for young girls. The girls work hard and admit “the fun we have massively outweigh the blisters on our feet and the sore throats”. What’s next for Scarlet Street? I asked, and you’ll be glad to hear “we’re busy recording more tracks in the studio”. There are endless gigs coming up including Manchester Pride all dates can be found on their website www.scarletst.com. The girls also revealed that they are planning a festive treat to maybe a little early girls but can a girl really ever be to early? Finally I asked the girls what’s the dream. “to be singed to a record label and stand on the stage at London’s O2 arena with Take That… (well a girl’s got to have some eye candy) “. www.musicreviewunsigned.com
Interview by Edel Hughes
he Depravations are an indie folk group which formed in Galway in 2006. They have since built up a significant following and have enjoyed touring all over Ireland playing gigs and festivals such as Hardworking Class Heroes and Turning Pirate New Years gig in Vicar Street. They recently recorded and released their first album â€œOnwards Westwardsâ€? and are celebrating this with an album launch on May 2nd. I asked lead singer David Boland to tell me all about themselves, their first album Onwards Westwards, the issues facing unsigned artists and their magnificent plans for the future! Hi David! So firstly can you tell a little about how the band was formed?
It started in Galway, in 2006, when I met a young lad called Otis Liddy. He was a first year in college, only seventeen and green as the grass. I, being a good four years older than him, took it upon myself to teach him the ways of extreme booze drinking, illicit bad boy drug taking and drug drunken womanising. It took me quite a while to break down the walls that his strict and unfaltering upbringing had instilled in him and, in the meantime, we played guitar. I used music as a way of gaining his trust and our relationship blossomed. It was later to crash and burn. We rarely speak now, though he remains a committed member of The Depravations. In those early years we were joined by a lovely female singer called Emma Craig and a very lazy young man called Eoghan McGinley on guitar. We made soft folky songs and released a demo and played some gigs. After a year or so we went our separate ways. When I returned to Galway in 2009, Otis and I went about writing new songs. Eoghan came back to Galway and then I met bassist Hob Junker. We all recorded an EP to entice a drummer called Mosey Byrne into the band. He joined and the rest, as they say, happened after that.
Who or what influences your music?
As a band I don’t think we have any collective influence. Personally, I love simple repetitive melodies like what David Kitt does and I think we’ve tried to get a sound similar to what Richard Hawley, Grizzly Bear and Beach House get. Not quite sure if that’s worked or not. In some ways it has I think, probably more so live than on the album. What kind of challenges do you face as an unsigned act?
It can be difficult to get booked to festivals and the bigger gigs that you might like to do. Also, it’s hard to get played on radio I suppose. Basically you have to do everything yourself and, if you’re not good at the business side of things or don’t know the right people, it all looks a bit impossible.
How do you juggle going to gigs all over the country with your day to day lives?
It is a juggling act alright. Not for me, I’ve nothing else to do, but it’s hard to sort practicing and gigging around people’s schedules. We recently did a national tour which was stressful to book. We’ve taken to doing some three piece acoustic gigs now which is easier to manage. This will be influential in writing the next album which will be a primarily folky affair.
What do you think of how the music industry is changing i.e. the death of record stores and more people downloading music?
I don’t know much about it all but I reckon, in an optimistic way, that everything is a bit freer now, less rigid. We can do what we want. It has led to a lot of innovation and a sort of rebirth of the old DIY ethic that was prevalent in the eighties punk scene. Also, I think record stores will survive. Vinyl is the new Compact Disc. You’ve released your first album Onwards Westwards, how did you find the process of making and releasing it?
It was ruddy horrible. I spent the good part of a year in a small studio writing, recording, getting depressingly drunk, getting euphorically drunk (sometimes) and just being incredibly hungry. I forgot to eat quite a lot. I think I went a bit mad to be perfectly honest. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get that bit of my brain back. It is what it is. I wouldn’t do it again but I’m happy enough with how the album turned out. As for the others, I’m
pretty sure they hated it as much as me. We try not to talk about it. We released it online for free in January and then went on a bit of a tour. We tried to play interesting places with a bit of character and with people who also had a bit of character to them. We recommend O’Connors Hotel in Swinford and anything The G-Man does down in Cork. The big night will be on Thursday May 2nd when we do the Galway launch in Arus na nGael. We haven’t played as a full band in Galway since the release and so we’re looking forward to it a lot. We’ll be joined by some of our favourite bands around (Oh Boland, My Fellow Sponges, The Followers
“It can be difficult to get booked to festivals and the bigger gigs that you might like to do. Also, it’s hard to get played on radio”
Of Otis, Fellow Strangers, Rural Savage, Rivers & Crows). What’s been the high point of being in the band so far? If you have a collective one?
I think we’d all agree that our high point as a band was playing the Turning Pirate Mixtape New Years Eve Party last year in Vicar Street. We were on the same bill as people like Neil Hannon, Cathy Davey, Lisa Hannigan, Richie Egan and loads of other people in that successful famous scene. Just for a moment it felt like we had arrived. Ah well. Still, got to meet Neil Hannon which was nice. He’s a perfectly formed owl-like genius. Any mad plans for the future?
Yes we do. Onwards, Westwards is set to be the first of a trilogy of albums we release this year. The next one is planned as a folk album we release over the summer and then we’ll be doing a tight indie dance album in the winter. It’s pretty outrageous and I don’t think anyone else in the band is keen on it but we’re going to give it a go. There’s your goddamn exclusive! www.facebook.com/thedepravations www.musicreviewunsigned.com
Introducing... By Jennifer Ormsby
Say hello to Charwin Doppa, a new boy band ready to take the pop world by storm. With the boy next door looks and their sweet and innocent vocals these boys will have girls falling at their feet. The band consists of Mike strumming his guitar, Tom singing his little heart out and Oli banging away on his drums. Interestingly enough these boys have already graced the pop world under a different name The Indigogoes. During this time they were a band of four but the lead singer left and so the band disassembled. They enjoyed some success with their claim to fame been supporting dance group Diversity before they were famous. Mike tells us “It was a gig called Synergy at indigoO2 held by Queen Mary Uni before diversity were on Brittan’s got Talent’’. There is no particular reason that the Indigogoes split with Mike blaming ‘’university work’’ as the most logical reason. It took a whole year of jamming sessions for Charwin Doppa to come together. Now they are re launching themselves with brand-new original material. To your surprise there is no hidden rock n roll meaning to their name. Mike explains “Oli started talking about his old school teacher, Mr. Darwin a lot, like an unhealthy amount. He was just talking about how great Mr. Darwin was to himself. Than someone quoted Arnie [Arnold Schwarzenegger] get to ze choppa. Then we had Darwin and Choppa and became Charwin Doppa.’’ Charwin Doppa are not like others. They play what they like and their music reflects their personality’s. ‘’Were like nothing you’ve ever heard before’’ added Mike. Speaking of the new material that Charwin Doppa are currently recording, it’s evident that all members are involved in the process. Mike writes all the lyrics and then as a band they arrange the music together. “If Tom or Oli writes songs they usually calibrate with me [Mike]’’ Their own material, they have assured me will be revealed soon. Finally the Charwin Doppa dream is to “be able to survive off our music’s income’’. Quiet a grounded dream if you ask me. www.charwindoppa.co.uk
E ZIN A G A e U M t of th R M tis Ar onth 3 M 201 y Ma
By Joe Healy
In today's media we see more rising stars make their names through social networks and video hosting giants like Youtube, you only have to do a search for a Rihanna cover song and discover some teenager with more than six million views. Then you got some artists who have real talent, both in the art of great production and in song writing too. Swedish musician Roomie (Joel Berghult) has built a fan base of more than 75 thousand subscribers on Youtube, he writes his own music and produces it, I have to say, he has some top quality videos including his latest release "Ugly". I asked Roomie was it difficult building a genuine and dedicated fan base on Youtube, "Yes. Even though it's easier to reach out to people than through traditional channels, the YouTube medium sets another kind of demands. You need to update often to stay on people's radar's, a traditional artist might only need to release songs one or two times per year, my audience expects new music videos every other week. And I do pretty much everything myself." Although Roomie does cover the likes of Taylor Swift and One Direction, his own music has a more rock catchy edge to it, his latest original track "Ugly" is only out 5 months and has already racked up more than 274.000 views on Youtube, most of his music can be also downloaded from iTunes. What interested me was, how can Roomie sell covers on iTunes, he told me "I clear mechanical rights to sell the tracks, that means I pay a percentage of my expected sales upfront that goes to the songwriters and publishers." When we think of the Swedish music scene some of us would relate to the super group Abba or electronic outfit Swedish House Mafia would come to mind, so what is the live music scene in Sweden like for upcoming artists, Roomie explains, "There is a great live music scene in Sweden, but I have not played a lot of live shows recently. A few years ago, before I started the Roomie project, I focused on drumming and played tons of live shows with different bands. However, too much playing led to my back hurting a lot, so that was the upstart of the Roomie project. Looking back, I'm actually glad my back started acting up, because of what it led to."
Photo by Olof BĂ¤ckstrĂśm
I asked Roomie would he like to sign to a major record label or did he prefer the DIY, Independent label route "That depends. I am discussing back and forth with major labels at the moment, but things are working pretty well for me as is. The main focus for me right now is to somehow get some assistance with a few aspects of the project, so I can focus on the creative parts and interact with fans. If that help comes from a record label or from some other direction doesn't really matter that much." So how often do you release a video on Youtube? "Right now I aim for every other week, but in the past I have done both every week and totally without schedule. I'm working on a debut album that's supposed to drop by the end of this year, so I alternate between writing for that and doing some covers for the YouTube Channel." Things are really looking up for Roomie, brand new album on the horozion building a steady fanbase and now makes the MRU magazine cover for May 2013, so be sure to check out his channel every week, you never know what song Roomie will cover or maybe he might release another fantastic original. Roomie is definitely one to watch for 2013. www.youtube.com/user/RoomieOfficial Photo by Olof Bäckström
“A traditional artist might only need to release songs one or two times per year, my audience expects new music videos every other week”
Baby Godzilla News Editor - Feargal Daly
MRU recently had the opportunity to interview one of the most promising rock acts out there on the unsigned scene. Along with being incredibly honest and genuine their music and personalities are incredibly infectious as they reveal the ups and downs of being in a touring band, living the dream versus the reality of everyday life and more.
Hi Baby Godzilla! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. First off we’ll start with the basic intros. Let us know your names, your role in the band and how you came together to eventually become Baby Godzilla. Hi, no problem, I’m Tom, I play drums and he’s Jonny who plays guitar. The other guys are Matt who also plays guitar and Paul who slaps the bass. It started with me (Tom) joining Matt’s old band, replacing their drummer. After about a month we decided to break apart and make a whole new band and drafted in Paul on bass. We continued with this line-up for about year, then our old guitarist left and Jonny came in to replace him, completing the current line up!
Baby Godzilla – The name – who/what/where/when/why and how did that name become the one to label the band? The old guitarist’s dad came up with the name. It was a name he’d wanted to use for a band years ago but never did, so we kinda just
used that when our band came together. It doesn’t relate to anything to do with a Baby Godzilla or dinosaurs or anything shit like that really (laughs).
How do you find that balance between the music you want to play versus what may be expected of you? Is it just a case of turn it up loud, stick to your guts and if people get turned on by it all the better? Well, we just play what we want to play. Sometimes we get surprised about how many people get into it, but that’s absolutely awesome. Obviously with the nature of our music not everyone’s gonna like it, and that’s fine, they clearly don’t like music.
You guys are currently on a tour at the moment. Tell us about the expectations of a tour versus the reality. Does it turn out as expected? We expect to come off tour with everything broken and that generally happens. We’ve found touring with this band to be a painful, horrifying and exhausting experience…
which is exactly what we’re after. We don’t really think about what’s going to happen on tour, plan anything or expect things. We just take it as it comes each day and it’s always awesome. Tour isn’t as glamorous as people think, we never have money, never have comfort, don’t have correctly working equipment most of the time, and there are never any women. At all. Ever.
What are the sacrifices and downsides you face that many would not think about? You never have any money, nothing runs to plan, you never get ”paid loads”, you sleep on people’s floors most of the time, you eat badly, you get ill… constantly, you spend most of the time you’re awake at work so you can afford to spend the rest of your time in a van with 3 other smelly boys. Some people don’t understand why we and other bands put us through it. It’s because we love making and playing music to people, wherever we can. We can’t just sit around, and watch TV or play Xbox (mainly because we can’t afford TV’s and Xboxes).
or supporting we try and meet as many as the other bands as possible. The people around you make the whole experience a lot more rewarding. We all love being around people, being a moody band that hides in the corner is not for us.
The sound of Baby Godzilla is monstrously big, abrasive and downright heavy. What is the standard for how heavy things can go and where is the line drawn at where it might be too heavy? Can it get too heavy or is that the goal – to push it as far as possible? To be honest, I wouldn’t say that we were that heavy. Yes, we have heavy parts and that cuts through, but I’d say we were more ‘noisy’. There’s no standard, benchmark or limit to our band in terms of sound. Any idea is considered and we’re always pushing ourselves in our song writing. The goal isn’t to get as heavy as possible, or to be crazy, it’s to write music that we just enjoy playing and hope to play as much as possible!
hoto by Carla Mundy www.carlamundyphotography.co.uk
Being on tour with the likes of The Wildhearts and Enter Shikari – What did you learn and what advice can you pass on to other bands about supporting other acts and playing to their crowds? Don’t ever change what you do for the crowd you’re playing to. If you look at the crowd and think, ‘man, no one here’s gonna get it, no one’s gonna like us’ and you change your performance to make it more appealing to them, then you’re an idiot. Stay true to what you do. If you’re playing to a room of one man and his dog (happened) or a thousand people always play with 100% conviction and belief, or not at all.
When you guys headline your own show and you have support from other emerging acts – like Stop All The Clocks this April in Dublin- how do you interact with them and find playing alongside your peers? An amazing part of being in a band is meeting new people and making new friends. Whatever gig we play, be it a headline show
How does the music translate to the live scene from a studio/rehearsal setting? Well, the music comes from the live scene and then we take it to the studio. We recorded our very first EP ‘NPAG’ in a very ‘traditional’ way, recording the drum tracks first and then layering everything on top. It worked, but didn’t capture the sound or characteristics of our band as much as we’d have liked, so our second EP/Mini Album ‘OCHE’ was recorded live. All in one room, all full takes, no chopping and editing. You can tell! (laughs).
If somebody at a show doesn’t get the band, how do you make them get it? To be honest, not everyone is gonna get it and we know this. If you don’t get it that’s fine, we try to look at it as though we have hopefully shown you something new. A lot of my (Tom) work friends don’t like the music I make and they openly tell me to my face but when they come see us live they genuinely enjoy themselves, which is all that matters. Most people can take something, even just a little moment, from our shows that they enjoy. Some people don’t like it or get it because, again, they don’t like music.
What are/were the challenges faced by you guys getting noticed and securing a tour and recordings under your belt? Booking a tour yourselves can be very difficult at the beginning. You spend all your time emailing venues, promoters, other bands that don’t know you and essentially try to convince them that you’re dead good and deserve a spot on their show/tour. Most of the time people ignore you so you just play the
gigs you do get and hope eventually people take notice. When it comes back around it can be a little easier as you have made friends and contacts along the way who can help you out, which ties in with being friendly too. Getting to know people and talking to people can take you to awesome places.
Your music is available for purchase on Bandcamp at a brilliant and fair price. Many bands are turning to these options out of necessity. How important is it to an emerging band to balance providing listeners with their expectations for free content versus requiring finances to sustain the band and your personal lives? At this stage of a band, you have to accept that you’re never going to make any money. We all have full time jobs that we have to hold down whilst doing as much as possible to push our music and shows to as many different places as possible. There’s a certain subculture in hardcore music which seems to class being in a band as having some kind of clothing label. Some bands appear to have more t-shirt designs than they have songs or have played gigs and that’s just wrong. We’re not out to make money, but it does help keep
“If you start a band with the intention of making money you’re going to get very disappointed very quickly”
the band moving. We put a lot of our own money into the band and we get little from it, so what we do earn from t-shirt sales, gig tickets etc. goes straight back into keeping the band alive – more tee’s, petrol and sometimes equipment. If you start a band with the intention of making money you’re going to get very disappointed very quickly.
Where do you see Baby Godzilla a year or two down the line? What do you hope/want to accomplish and as an active touring band how are you adapting to an increasingly harsh and ever changing music industry? We’d like to be alive! We don’t really look too far into the future, I think you can get carried away sometimes when you think about it too much and that’ll probably end up in disappointment. We want to get our music to as many people and places as possible, more shows and more tours. The music industry changes and you have to adapt in some ways, but never forget why you dived in the first place. www.musicreviewunsigned.com
By Robert Morrissey
t has been a busy 2013 so far for electro pop band Swords. From playing at Other Voices, to an eagerly awaited debut album, Swords are tipped for big things, and are set to make 2013 their year. In a brief chat with bass and synth player Jarlath Canning, he gives us an insight into the last two years, from creating their sound to playing the prestigious Other Voices on its adventure from Kerry to Derry. But we’ll start at the beginning of the Swords journey back in early 2010, where singer and keyboard player Diane Anglim, along with drummer Ian Frawley met through a similar interest in music. Realising the potential of having similar interests in matters of musical life and death, they decided to try write some songs together. The duo went under the name ‘Swords’, a name fashioned from a Morrissey B-Side and popular Leftfield song of the same name. One demo and a few months later they met bassist and electronic whiz Jarlath Canning through some mutual friends. It wasn’t long before the band had a setlist compiled, and thus began what would turn out to be a 35 date tour throughout Ireland the following year. So a year later, the band met with producer Karl Odlum, who had worked with the likes of The Frames, Gemma Hayes and David Kitt to name a few. Swords end product of their time with Odlum was their four track short player ‘Black Balloon’. The EP gained the band some success across the media, with a successful tour and a highly anticipated live show. Following the conclusion of their Black Balloon tour and time hidden away in a studio last year, Swords hit the ground running in 2013. The electro pop trio have played Whelans Ones to Watch Festival, released their new single ‘All The Boys’ to critical acclaim and have had appearances on TG4 and RTE 2fm. Swords were part of the Other Voices Music Trail in Derry back in February, when the music show made the trip from Kerry to Derry, in a bid to showcase Irish music as part of Derry’s Capital of Culture plans this year. Jarlath says “Other Voices was an amazing experience. To be a part of something that we have all loved and watched since it began was incredible.” The trip seemed to have a positive effect on the band, as Jarlath explains “The thing about Other Voices is that it doesn’t have that Irish media desire to just provide more of the same, safe, diluted shit that you sometimes get.”
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Mightier than the Swords
There has of course, been mentions of the honesty that Other Voices seems to show when aired on television. It’s evident in the show’s selection of presenters like Annie Mac and Aidan Gillen. “They (Other Voices) are people who genuinely love music and everyone we met was so enthusiastic and pro the development of our own Irish music scene. The fact we’d never played up the North was an extra bonus. We met some deadly folk along the way.” With their debut album ‘Lions and Gold’ expected for release in early July of this year, Jarlath talks about the great experience the three friends have had making the album, “It’s been great. I mean, music is all any of us want to do so you can’t have any
complaints putting out your first album. Whether people like the album or not, it represents us and each one of us is in every song and we’re proud that it’s a product of the three of us sitting around a room playing music. It’s a collection of music that three friends put together. If anyone else is into it then that’s a bonus.” Swords have already been busy on the gig front. The fast approaching May Bank Holiday weekend see’s the band play support to the legendary Echo & The Bunnymen in Dublin’s Button Factory as part of the Meteor Camden Crawl. The band is also “blown away” having been asked back to Vantastival the same weekend as The Meteor Camden Crawl, which will see
them play both festivals for the second year running. They will then kick off their summer with a new single release and Whelans headline show on July 5th too. Having just released their latest single “All The Boys”, Anglim and Co. have certainly grown in sound, by developing their style of upbeat, catchy rhythms since the Black Balloon EP. “It seemed like an obvious choice as a single” remarks Canning, “We’ve had some great reaction to the song, We view it as the most lucid and direct song on our debut album.” Unsure what to expect from Swords debut long player, something along the lines of the Black Balloon EP perhaps?, “We all believed that the album wouldn’t be a departure from
Black Balloon but I think we realised along the way that we’re making music for ourselves. None of the choices we made in putting the songs together were made with anyone else in mind and as a result the album mightn’t be as snappy or as instant as the EP, as a collection of songs. There’s a wider range of moods and atmospheres throughout the songs and it represents a progression of sorts.” When asked about their debut headline performance in Whelan’s in July, and if they are excited about it, Jarlath replies “Excited is understating it. We are still finishing the album and playing the odd gig here and there, trying to get to grips with new songs and songs that have been reworked and
developed. It took us a couple of gigs to get that confidence of playing in front of a crowd again after quite a few months out, but we’re becoming more and more comfortable with every performance.” There is obviously a hidden secret in store for those attending the show in the summer, when questioned about what it might be, Jarlath simply says “The July show is going to be enormous.” So should we expect something out of the norm? “Maybe, don’t bring any kids or people with nervous dispositions.” he laughs. Swords new single ‘All The Boys’ is out on iTunes and CD Baby now. www.facebook.com/swordsband
By Jennifer Ormsby
t just the tender age of 16 Sarah Dooley from Dublin Ireland is taking YouTube by storm. With more than 1,700 subscribers and 224,000 views it’s no wonder that she is number 2 on the pop raver nation chart. Sarah told me that “My passion for singing just came out of nowhere I always loved music and would always listen to music and somehow any worries or cares seem to fade when I listen to it.’’ Sarah was just 14 when she decided to start covering songs and place them on YouTube. “My mum overheard me and ran up the stairs and asked me to repeat the song I had just sung and said OMG Sarah you have a voice and booked me into my first recording studio. Since then I have never looked back.’’ Sarah counts Christina Perri as her inspiration due to her passion and hard work that she puts into her music. Sarah described
that she covers songs that suit her voice but also she likes to cover the songs that she likes to singing along to. I asked her would she ever consider entering X Factor and she replied “No I have entered one competition and I got through to the Semi Finals of the All Ireland’s where I got knocked out. It has knocked my confidence for six …’’ I was shocked when Sarah admitted that her fear of the music industry was holding her back. “A singing career would be perfect but on the other hand I feel I may not be able to handle the slating and abuse that come with been successful. But hopefully when I am mature and wiser I would be able to handle it.’’ With her YouTube channel views always on the rise Sarah is humble for the lovely comments that are posted about her singing. The fact that her cover of Rihanna’s Stay has
soared past the 100 thousand mark she was shocked by the reaction “I remember saying to myself my goal was to get at least 100,000 on one of my covers and without thinking about it has risen quite quickly and still continues to rise.’’ Asking Sarah of the chance of hearing original material on YouTube she admitted she has always wanted to write her own material. “I have tried and nothing! I guess
the time is not right yet and maybe when I am older and experience relationships I will be able to write my own music.’’ Sarah told me how she doesn’t play any music instruments but that she would love to. She admitted that she tried to learn the keys for Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri and she “found it came quite easily to me’’. Maybe a video of her guitar learning skills may appear on YouTube one day.
Sarah is also an avid Irish dancer but admitted that she will never mix the two together. “They both mean different things to me and give me totally different feelings’’. Having been dancing since the age of nine and winning the Dublin’s, Leinsters (twice), All Irelands and the Worlds, it’s a wonder how Sarah fits in anytime for signing. “It’s the only thing that keeps me going. (Dancing) But it’s nice to know that I have
talent in singing also and maybe one day my future will be singing who knows.’’ In ten years’ time Sarah hopes to be successful happy and living in L.A. “I would love to inspire people in whatever path I take.’’ If her voice is anything to go by this young Irish girl has a very bright future in front of her. www.reverbnation.com/sarahdooley www.musicreviewunsigned.com
5 minutes with...
Heaven’s Basement Interview by Dom Beale
You’re about to begin touring Europe, followed by a set of festivals including playing the legendary Download Festival. How does it feel to be recognised worldwide for what you do? It’s a great privilege to be able to turn up to a show now that people are beginning to recognise Heaven’s Basement as a regular touring work horse. We have a good relationship with our fans and we make the effort to meet them as often as possible. At the end of the day, we’re just a group of music fans that are lucky enough to be able to play instruments and ended up in a band that’s been allowed to head out on the road. Every show is different, every audience is different, – nothing is ever the same and that’s the thing that I think the fans enjoy. We have never and will never play two shows that are the same, none of us have the brain cells to remember a script so when I bowl up onstage and talk to the audience, I just say whatever I feel like, its the unpredictability that keeps people heading out to our shows. They know it’s going to be a heavy, fast, testosterone fuelled night out – so we just make sure we do our best each night, and when it all goes tits up, well, usually they’re the best shows?!
What was life like for you before Heaven’s Basement came about? Very simple. I lived in dreadful hole in East Anglia, worked as a waiter for a while and played for various bands. Played a few hundred shows throughout my teen years and got into a band that played locally mainly but occasionally ventured out… we took anything we could get. I was always very passionate about pushing it, but I pushed too hard and we ended up parting ways. At this point I left home and moved up to Suffolk, I was gutted and just wanted to go and disappear off the face of the earth, which is
what I did for a year. Then Rivers got in contact and I went up to do the audition. I got the impression they were a pretty unique unit and they got the impression that I was a weirdo – it worked, and here we are today touring the world. I doubt there’s more than ten brain cells between us the band or our crew, but it works… Usually oiled by beer and chicken wings.
Have you got to meet any of your musical
heroes, and do you still get that fanboy moment if you do? I’ve always wanted to meet one of Queen but so far every time I’ve been close to it, the opportunity has fallen through. I am usually quite contained and reserved, but put me in a room with Brian May or Roger Taylor and I’d turn into a thirteen year old again. Freddie was my biggest inspiration as a frontman. I want to bring back ‘the stage show’ – bands lack that today.
it’s probably time for “Mr McCartney to drop it these days. The Beatles were incredible, but when I’m seventy odd, I’d like to think I’ll be sitting on a boat, somewhere in the world soaking up the sun!”
I’m really hoping to meet Alice In Chains in America when we play some festivals with them – that’d be a trip – I think that new (not new but… You know… ‘new’) vocalist is incredible. I DID get to meet Corey Taylor. As a kid I was a huge Slipknot fan. He’s a good guy and a great example to kids today who want to play rock – I look up to him for sure – and I live in the hope that I can grow to help and inspire people in a similar way throughout the future!
You released Filthy Empire earlier this year, how much hard work went into getting the album out there? From the day I met Basement, the game was on. We wrote over a hundred tracks in the lead up to what became ‘Filthy Empire’ and yeah, I’d go as far as to say that we put all our blood, sweat, and souls into the album. It took a long time, but it sounds the way it was supposed to. Fiery, dirty and honest.
What’s been the best show you’ve ever played, what’s been the most weird show you’ve ever played and why? The weirdest show we ever played was on a mountain top in the pissing rain in Wales at Steelhouse festival. It was just the most
obscure thing. The PA was so badly wired that if you went to one side of the stage you heard one song and if you went to the other you basically heard another. It was a nightmare! On the flipside, my favourite show ever was just a couple of days ago in Madrid. They’re the most passionate, excitable, enthusiastic and nicest fans in the world and I love them dearly – they make the band feel at home. All they want to do is make the most of the show. Madrid is a new place that is now close to my heart! Bless’em!
Do you have any signature moves on stage, and can we be expecting anything extraordinary on this run of shows? I’m not so sure about a signature move. I just like to groove with the music. I guess I use my mic-cable as a prop quite a lot, I have nervous hands so holding onto it makes me feel like I’m in control of something! Not being an instrumentalist, I have nothing to hide behind!
Can you reveal any plans for after these shows? Play more shows, play harder, play faster, play louder, PLAY MORE!
How would you react if you were playing and saw Paul McCartney side of stage watching you? To be quite honest, I never actually look side of stage. I get so deep into our show that anything other than the audience is immaterial. That and the fact that it’s probably time for Mr McCartney to drop it these days. The Beatles were incredible, but when I’m seventy odd, I’d like to think I’ll be sitting on a boat, somewhere in the world soaking up the sun! What would you do if you found out Alice Cooper and Barack Obama were big fans of your music? That’d be pretty cool. I could deal with a lunch with Alice, he’s got some great stories and I’m sure he’s got a ton of advice. Barack on the other hand… Well… Not exactly as cool as Alice but I’d say howdy… How would you sum up the past, present and future of 2013 for Heaven’s Basement? The past was a rocky road that got the band from A to B, the present is the stage where the band is finally on its feet. And the future is all about getting it moving hard and fast. Kaboom.
The Riptide Movement News Editor - Feargal Daly
2012 was a whirlwind year for one of Ireland’s most accomplished unsigned groups, The Riptide Movement. Beating the sophomore slump effect, i.e. “the difficult follow up” to their impressive debut was no easy task but ‘Keep On, Keepin’ On’ stormed the charts and garnered critical acclaim to a level that veterans on the scene would be left wanting. Cap it off with a milestone homecoming gig last November at The Olympia in the heart of their hometown Dublin, a Late Late Show and Other Voices taping and the ERIC 2012 ‘Best Irish Album’ award it comes as no surprise when a cheerful Mal Tuohy answered the phone for our interview. With a third album currently being recorded the band has a lot to beat and make 2013 as eventful – a task the lads are taking with a positive, grounded attitude that is sure to see them embark on another successful year. “Yeah, we’re just on the way back from the studio now. It’s recorded and we’re just going to have to master it now.” Mal states when quizzed on the status of their all important third album. “It should be finished soon I’d say, by early June and hopefully put it out by the end of the year.”
“We always put on a show and give so much energy and it feeds back to us.”
Barely more than a year since their last record, there’s a sense of urgency behind getting a third album out the door, especially given a dwindling proliferation of releases in the modern industry compared to the golden age of records in the mid 20th century. “That’s the way it kind of rolled. We’d love the have an album out every year and a half, that’s kind of what we do” Mal responds regarding their as yet untitled forthcoming album. “We’re setting up to release in the States and we feel that the third album is the album to do it, you know?” Sometimes a band can rush out their albums and suffer from not giving enough breathing room between releases to evolve their sound. On the other hand when you have a winning formula that still sounds fresh then why not
keep that up? According to Mal the next record will sound very much like them with a natural sonic progression. “The songs are more crafted. I think it’s better in general because we got a producer over from America, Ted Hutt who’s worked with The Gaslight Anthem and Dropkick Murphy’s so he’s helped really I suppose craft it. We’re really excited. There are some really good tunes.” Of course touring is still the forefront of the bands life stream. They are very much rooted in the traditional sense of being performancebased musicians. As a quartet of established working, touring musicians, The Riptide Movement even embarked on the same journey of legends such as The Beetles hitting New Delhi last year. “They run a festival over there called the ‘Rendezvous Festival’. It’s basically all the IT colleges in India and they all come together. There was like 120,000 students over the three day weekend and its bands from all over India and also opera and theatre – It’s a whole culture festival.” Mal fondly remembers. “They invite over four or five bands from around the world each year and they invited us. Basically how they found us is they were looking for European bands and somehow found ‘Hot Tramp’, on YouTube I think. They
obviously liked it, emailed us and took it from there… We went over for six days and it was a great experience.” Despite the cultural barrier the Indian audiences embraced the bands performance, a familiar response from new audiences and a testament to the old saying that music is a universal language. “It was great! No matter where we go it’s always great, like they all speak English there but even in like Germany and Holland it’s all the same. We always put on a show and give so much energy and it feeds back to us.” Fret not all you Riptide fans out there fearing their sound may become too influenced by their New Delhi experience. Sitars will be skipped over for their upcoming record but not without a great story to share regarding the influential instrument and its place in rock history. “Maybe for the next album we might go down that route! (laughs). We were looking at sitars while we were over there alright. We were in the shop where this guy who makes the sitars for years. Dads, granddads and all – it’s a family tradition. George Harrison and Paul McCartney got their guitars over there in the 60s in that same shop and he was showing us the pictures there of Harrison with his dad so it’s very interesting you know!”
Another milestone to check off the list also occurred last year with a headliner at The Olympia in Dublin last November that went down a storm and the band are set to replicate that response with a further two headliners this May (24th & 25th). “That Olympia gig back in November was amazing like. It’ll be the same thing again now in a few weeks time and tickets are going well.” Mal hints at something special in store for fans attending the shows in May, “we’ll definitely start plugging the new songs now and even for ourselves it’ll be great – keeps it fresh. Hopefully the crowd will like them as well.” Glastonbury, Hyde Park and Bennicassim are also three stamps on the summer gig scene any band would be lucky to have the privilege to play. For the Riptide lads they can safely look forward to all three. “Yeah we’re playing the acoustic stage (At Glastonbury). Of the five or so main stages that’s one of them. We can’t wait for that, it’s gonna be class. I hear it kicks off on the Wednesday so we’re gonna go over from then, playing Friday and flying back Saturday because we’ve got to be in Limerick, we’re playing a festival down there (Rocky Mayhem Festival) and then the Westport festival on the Sunday. So it’s gonna be a… hectic few days! (laughs).” Regardless of their current tour it cannot be denied that those three shows are constantly on their radar. “I suppose the highlights for the summer are going to be Glastonbury, Bennicassim and then The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park.” Yes, you read that correctly. The Riptide Movement will be playing with The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park this summer. How does any band, let alone an unsigned band, get that once in a lifetime opportunity? Apparently it’s good tunes and a hell of a lot of good timing. “We played London two years ago and Bob Dylan was playing. We went backstage and gave our single ‘Hot Tramp’ to him and just basically had a chat for a few minutes. Whatever happened he has it on his iPad and Ronnie Wood heard it off that; sure, he’d be in Ireland a lot because he’s got family and that in Clane. So he came along and saw us at the Olympia and liked what he’d seen. He sent us an email about five or six weeks ago saying that he had seen us and invited us to the Hyde Park gig so we were…fuckin’ delighted! (laughs).” That decision is naturally one prebuilt into the conscious of every musician and not one any self respecting artist could ever consider turning down. “No! No it’s not!” Mal agrees, “It’s kind of amazing how like, something from two years ago comes through for you now so it’s great.” Touring aside the new album will be a
primary focus for the band as their profile gets bigger and expands to new audiences and territories they’re becoming increasingly aware that now is the right time to prepare to unleash new material in new ways, but still on their own terms sans-label. “I think with the new album the plan is to licence it because we’re going to release it in the States and England and all that.” Mal responds realistically considering the limitations of their home-grown DIY approach. “We’ll need a team on the ground for that. It’s all well and good here for Ireland doing it ourselves – it’s a lot smaller – but trying to do it in America you need to have the right system in place, the right team and the whole lot really. So that’s the plan, licence it.”
“If you like what you’re doing and you have a plan in place there’s no reason why you can’t make a living out of it.”
The end of the music industry always seems to be that fabled apocalyptic event forever prophesized yet never delivered. Everyone is guilty of it from all angles be it the media, labels and even the musicians themselves yet Mal is quite content and optimistic that they can survive it and come out on top. “The whole recording thing really took off in the 50s and 60s so before then we always had music and people went to concerts and stuff. That’s the foundation and it is rock solid. If you’re playing good gigs people are going to come to them. This whole recording thing? I
think the industry has always been in trouble. CDs brought music sales back in the 90s but now that’s gone too so we have to find new ways of keeping it going. It still goes back to the principles that people like going out, have a good time and seeing concerts – that’ll always be the case.” “I know sales have gone down but people are still buying online and stuff. Either way you need albums to push your gigs and sell tickets. We’re doing alright. I suppose the bigger you get the easier it is. If you like what you’re doing and you have a plan in place there’s no reason why you can’t make a living out of it.” Hard work and dedication to your craft seems to be the attitude that will get you places if The Riptide Movement is anything to go by. 2012 was surely a definitive year but Mal is confident the lads are in it for the long haul. “Keep bettering ourselves. Keep making better albums and playing bigger and bigger gigs. Take it as far and wide as we can get it and have a good time along the way” He responds on the goals and future of the band. “We’re enjoying what we’re doing and enjoying where it’s going. Once you can do what you wanna do and get some kind of success out of it that’s a result you know? Everyone always seems to go home happy. We do what we do and do our best.” Catch The Riptide Movement on tour this summer. ‘Keep on, Keepin’ On’ is out now. New album out soon. See www.trm.ie for more.
Nophar Haimovitz Jewelry Fashion Editor - Darragh Mullooly
Inspired by everything pretty, designer Nophar Haimovitz captures her distinctive aesthetics of beauty, grace and delicacy with her unique line of fringe and flower neck pieces and fabric jewelry. In 2010 Haimovitz launched “Reason to be Pretty“, a lavish and eclectic fabric jewelry line, which portrays her love, appreciation and knowledge of the world of embroideries and embellishments. Designs feature extravagant hand crafted pieces that include handmade flowers and fabric beads, in fabulous colors and material fusion. Each piece in the “Reason To Be Pretty” line is handcrafted in her New York based studio, with zealous attention to color combination, fabrication, and detail. The beads are made from metallic linen fabric and cotton cord, fringe is hand dyed, as well as most of the cords, the flowers are hand crafted or hand knitted and the crystals are either Swarovski or Czech. Additionally all of the metal components are high quality brass (the only thing that is actually raw brass is the loops on the SS13 collection) or 18k real gold plated (in the US) nickel free. Prices: $30-$600.
A load of Cock & Bull! Fashion Editor - Darragh Mullooly
Cock & Bull Menswear have confirmed that they will take part in an ethical fashion show organised by students of the London College of Fashion next Wednesday 8 May, 2013 at 7pm. The event, which includes a show, a question and answer panel and a silent auction is being held in aid of the Rehema project. The London menswear line will join a number of other brands sending models down
The Curly Girl’s Guide To Great Hair Deputy Fashion Editor - Melise Amour
Curly hair was the bain of my existance for a long time. Constantly knotting, always dry and frizzy, would never hold a style. Not to mention the spilt ends, oh the split ends (insert first world problem meme here). It wasn’t until….wait for it…last year that I finally figured out to control my unruly mane and stay sane. Here are my tips on keeping curly/wavy locks in tip top condition!
Number 1: Know Your Hair Type
I assumed because I had curly hair that my hair was thick but as you can see from this shot my hair is actually quite fine and sleek when it’s straightened. Putting the right products into your hair can really make a difference. When I used conditioners for thick hair I ended up with very heavy hair that knotted constantly. It turned out that my conditioner was becoming sort of like chewing gum in my hair and that’s what was causing the knots. I’ve been using Pantene Ice Shine Shampoo and Conditioner for over
the catwalk in a collection of sustainable fashion. These include People Tree, Komodo, Junky Styling, Arthur & Henry and Braintree. A star-studded panel of speakers will also be present at the event, with Caroline Nodder (editor in chief of Drapers), Tamsin Lejeune (director of ethical fashion forum), Maggie Jones (shadow minister for culture, media and sport), Sandy Black (author of ‘The Sustainable Fashion Handbook’), Liz Parker (Labour behind the label) and Mark Bloom (managing director of Komodo) all confirmed. Cock & Bull Director P.D. Scott said, “We were delighted to be asked to take part in next week’s ethical fashion show by the London College of Fashion students. It is a subject that is very close to our heart and something we are passionate about. The Rehema project is a wonderful cause that we’re honoured to be able to contribute to.” Bringing together a range of brands and fashion insiders from the capital, the evening will take place at St Paul’s in Hammersmith, conveniently located next to the Tube line. Cock & Bull will be dressing a number of models, with those strutting down the catwalk set to sport a range of pieces from the current collections. Pieces to look out for include a jaunty tweed flat cap and organic
cotton tees. 100% of proceeds from the show will go to the Rehema Project, an initiative which helps women living in extremely difficult situations in Tanzania to learn textile skills to support their families. The project includes jewellery and clothes making and runs a café in the compound of the Anglican Diocese. Money raised from the Rehema outreach goes to the local community, ensures basic food is provided to children and supports women. The organizers of the ethical fashion show hope to raise £4000 from the evening to finance a house that Rehema women can work in together, safely. Tickets for the ethical fashion show are available on the door and cost £10 or £7 for students and include a free drink. To find out more view the Facebook page for the event: www.facebook.com/#!/events/60322523304 0603/?fref=ts. Additional donations to the charity can be made at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rehema projecthouse. For other queries about the evening please contact Charlotte on 07805686303 or email@example.com To find out more about Cock & Bull Menswear, visit www.cockandbullmenswear.co.uk
a year now and I don’t know how I ever lived without it! It’s a little bit more expensive then picking up the store brand shampoos but for me it’s worth it. I usually stock up when Boots are running a 3 for 2 and get 2 conditioners and 1 shampoo as I always use lots of conditioner in the shower.
over dye, it’s a hair killer, don’t over style and if you do use heat protection sprays. If you’re someone who like myself finds themselves in the hair stylists chair quite often getting big hair treat your hair afterwards. I personally have a bottle of Aussie Super Moisture shampoo and a conditioning hair mask on stand by for such occasions.
I picked up the tangle taming brush I have a couple of years ago in Penneys but they don’t seem to stock them any more which is a shame. A tangle brush has different sized bristles running through it so it can get in between all those knotted hairs and free them. I find mine an absolute life saver. You can pick them up in Boots for around 15euro or go online to http://www.tangleangel.com/ and pick up one of their professional brushes.
There are so many products lining the aisles for the supermarkets that it’s somethings hard to know what’s worth buying and what’s just going to be another unused bottle of product on your shelf. The best way to go about buying what you need is to take a look at your hair is it fine, normal or thick? Then what do you do to your hair, is it coloured, do you style it a lot? If it is coloured do you want something to protect your colour? It’s all about you and your unique hair. In my bathroom press I like to keep some dry shampoo, some salt spray for when I want to embrace my kinks, some Pantene moisturising mousse for coloured/damaged hair to give my hair some juice, hair spray and a small bottle of serum for when I want neat upstyles. It’s easy to fill your shelves with a million bottles of every kind of lotion and potion but keeping it simple is always best for you and your head.
Number 2: Invest In A Tangle Brush Number 4 : Invest In Yourself
Number 3: Let Your Hair Recover
I’ve been pretty nasty to my hair over the years what with peroxide, strengthening it and having it super backcombed for shoots like above. Currently I’m back to my natural hair colour because after bleaching my hair in January it was unbelievably dry, no matter what I did I could not get the moisture into it and it looked how it felt. My advise is don’t
â€œI have gotten to experience so much in my 25 years that most people do not get to see or do in a lifetimeâ€?
Photo by Chiaroscuro Fotografia
Fashion Editor - Darragh Mullooly
What would it be like, to grow up around The Rolling Stones, Tommy Hilfiger, Aerosmith or David Bowie? Well, one of L.A’s Elite Glam pack knows exactly what it was like. She’s tipped as the next Kim Kardashian meets Donald Trump, mainly due to her stunning looks, a penchant for the fashion world and her savvy business mind. The busty, blonde beauty is the niece of iconic Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and as heiress to the Hilfiger fortune, what it must be like to grow up in the shadow of an icon like Tommy. The 25 year old attended the University of Central Florida to study Broadcast Journalism, but her heart was always in the Fashion world. After modelling for so many years it’s hard to stand behind the camera and out of the media spotlight. However Jaimie H knew she was safe and secure with her Bachelor’s Degree to fall back on. She’s now carved out quite a name for herself as a columnist with the reputable Huffington Post, styling spots on all media platforms and a very impressive modelling portfolio. This week I chatted to Ms Hilfiger about growing up around mega stars, staying grounded in La La Land and of course her very exciting upcoming Fashion line.
out my OWN path in life. Of course, I am very influenced by my family business, as I am pursuing a path as a fashion designer and model.
How do you keep yourself grounded in the shallow world of celebrity? It’s easy to stay grounded when you were raised with parents like mine. They always taught me to be gracious and to treat others with respect no matter who they are.
You studied Broadcasting and Cinema did you always want to be on both sides of the camera? I knew that I always wanted to be in front of the camera, so I figured that I should learn
about being behind the camera as well. It was important for me to learn all aspects of film and television making, to be the best that I can be.
The clothing line, tell us everything… where can we find it? The lounge-wear line that I am currently developing is going to be a ‘transitional wardrobe’ that women can wear between work and bedtime. Many times, women get home from work and have no clue what to put on. They don’t want to stay in their work clothes that they have been in all day and then don’t want to immediately get into their P.J s at 5:00 pm. That’s why I am making a collection that women can slip into and still
What was it really like growing up in a family of fashion royalty? Growing up in a family of fashion royalty has been amazing. I have gotten to experience so much in my 25 years that most people do not get to see or do in a lifetime. I am very blessed and grateful.
What stars were you in the company of growing up? Many people do not know that growing up in a fashion family has also led me to grow up in a rock n’ roll family as well. Both of my uncles, Tommy and Andy ( of Andrew Charles) pull their inspirations from music. My father and his brothers were all big music fans growing up. Once Tommy got into designing and established his company, he was able to meet and befriend legendary musicians such as The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, David Bowie, Lynard Skynard, Kid Rock, Pete Townshend, Marky Ramone, and many more. I have been lucky enough to be able to attend their concerts and meet them from a very young age.
Was it always important to carve out your own career and not ride the family coat tails to fame? It can be hard living in the shadow of my uncle Tommy Hilfiger, but like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, I am not content to just sit on my laurels. It is so important for me to be hard-working and industrious as I carve
Photo by Chiaroscuro Fotografia
feel sexy when whomever they live with gets home from work. Everyone who hears my idea (men and women alike) are in love with the concept! It will be available in high-end department stores.
Is it going to be anything like your uncles, or is it important to be completely detached from his line. I’m sure he gave lots of advice. My line is going to be completely different from my uncle’s because we are two different people with two different styles. I want to give the Tommy Hilfiger consumer what they’re not getting from the Tommy Hilfiger brand.
In your recent interview with Psychology Today you spoke about eco-fashion, is this something that’s important in your line? Being eco-friendly is a huge part of my life so of course it will definitely come into play while designing my line. If you feel good in what you’re wearing that also makes the Earth feel good, it’ll show.
How do you feel being put into the Kim/Paris category? I feel very honored to be put in the Paris/Kim category. Both of these women are entrepreneurs who have created multi-million dollar brands for themselves. They are extremely hardworking and intelligent. It’s sad that many times the negative things associated with them are highlighted more than their accomplishments. Everyone makes mistakes in life and I have definitely learned a lot of both Kim and Paris about what to do and what not to do.
You have an amazing body, how do you keep in shape? Thank you. I have a very clean diet. I have been a pescetarian (someone who only eats fish, no meat) for over three years and eat a ton of fresh fruits and veggies. My exercise routine (when I have time) consists of yoga, pilates, and hikes with my friends at Hollywood’s Runyon Canyon.
You always style yourself so well, or do you have a team of people doing this for you! When I first moved to Los-Angeles, after graduating college, I definitely styled myself and have pictures to prove it! After meeting people and getting out more I began to work with stylists and
actually learn from them. Now when going out there are times that I use a stylist and times when I don’t. My boyfriend, jewelry designer Igal Dahan, usually has the best eye and helps me make the best choices.
Your Uncle’s line Andrew Charles is very fitting for our publication, very indie/rock chic. What do you think is the most important element of getting the rock chic look? Yes, I love the Andrew Charles line! It’s so fun to wear and very versatile. I think the most important element of getting the rocker-chic look is to feel confident in what your wearing. If you’re not confident then it will show and your whole indie rocker chic look will go out the window. My friend, musician Erica Chase, has the perfect indie-rock look with tight, unapologetic pants, cropped jackets, boots and lots of necklaces. Whenever she steps on a carpet she exudes confidence and always looks so cool!
Your best/worst dressed celebrity? I don’t believe that there is a really a worst dressed celebrity. We all have our hits and misses. My pick for best dresses celebrity would have to be Jennifer Lopez. She is such a beautiful woman and when dressing she really plays up her best assets. Her look is always glamorous which is the one word that I would pick to describe MY personal style. Also she is always in style but never too trendy. I always love to see what Jennifer Lopez wears on the carpet because she always does it right.
Most hated fashion faux-pas? Jaimie: I hate the belief that you cannot wear white after Labor day or before Memorial Day. There are obvious things that you should avoid wearing in the cooler months but the color white itself is not one of them. I am all about wearing winter white. It’s actually one of my favorite colors to wear in the winter. It’s very glamorous.
Favourite designer? My favorite red carpet designers are Marchesa, Gucci, Jovani, and MacDuggal. For everyday looks, I love Parker, Haute Hippie, Milly, and Alice and Olivia.
What’s the five year plan for Jaimie? Jaimie: In five years, I would like to see my career emulate Paris Hilton’s and Kim Kardashian’s paths. I want to build an empire very similar to the ones that they have built. As for my personal life, I want to be happy, healthy, in love, and always around my family.
Photo by Chiaroscuro Fotografia
So It seems like there aint nothing this girl can’t turn her hand to. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jaimie is set to grow her star bigger and bigger and possibly even outshine uncle Tommy in the near future, with what is set to be an amazing clothing line, a career in Journalism, modelling campaigns and who knows what else. M.R.U wishes Jaimie all the success in the world. www.musicreviewunsigned.com
THE IMPORTANCE OF STYLE By Elena Levd
t is not a secret that fashion is not timeless, it changes and repeats itself every couples of years, if not more often. Therefore, having a personal style is very important, as it reflects and shows people who you are. Rachel Zoe, a famous celebrity stylist, once said that ‘style is a way to say who you are without having to speak’. Indeed, this definition couldn’t be more perfect; because, most of the time, your style of clothes complements your attitude and personality. For example, Bohemians or Hippies are more laid back than any other subculture, the Rockers are more rebellious and the Conservatives are the classiest, or most reserved. So, let’s look at the most popular clothing styles. The “Boho Chic” girls usually wear a lot of loose-fitted dresses, they wear their hair down, a lot of authentic headwear and natural makeup. What’s more interesting about this style is that it’s not just about fashion and physical appearance, it’s a lifestyle that involves a lot of unconventional ways of living. The term “bohemian” was first used in the 19th century and was attributed to creative people that were seen as unorthodox. The hippie subculture was born in the early 1960s and was inspired by the free-spirited lifestyle of the Bohemians. Most dictionaries define hippies as ’people whose behaviour, dress, use of drugs, favouring of communal living, peace promotion, etc., implies a rejection of conventional values’. A lot of modern celebrities and public figures channel Bohemian/Hippie dress style, for example Nicole Richie, Sienna Miller and Kate Moss. They are often seen wearing long dresses, hair bands and vintage accessories. So, if you think that Boho Chic style is for you then get inspired by these famous socialites.
The next style is on of the most common among celebrities models, and fashionistas. However, this style is not as common among those who do not work in the show business, that is, the Old Hollywood Glam, sometimes called Vintage or Retro (1940s-1950s). This dress style is fascinating, because unlike Bohemian, this style is just about the fashion and makeup. It’s highly colourful and classic, and anybody could pretend to be a glamorous Old Hollywood diva for the night. What’s great about this style is that any woman, at any age and size, can pull it off. It’s obvious that the inspiration comes from the old school Hollywood entertainers. Some of the most notable elements of the Retro/Hollywood Glam style are flawless porcelain skin, red lipstick, wavy hair swept to one side and beautiful vintage accessories. Although, this style is all about appearance, not everyone is confident enough to try it out. The vintage-inspired dress sense is for women that are not afraid to stand out, for women that have that inner diva in them and are not afraid to look seductive. One of the most famous modern celebrities to channel the Old Hollywood Glamour style is Dita Von Teese. She truly dedicates her life to vintage fashion and style. This natural blonde dyes her hair jet-black which goes perfectly with her porcelain complexion; she also wear red lipstick and in her own words ‘advocates glamour 24/7’ by wearing vintage clothes and high heels every single day. Another wellknown entertainer with a passion for Vintage fashion is Paloma Faith, a British singer. She’s a fan of heavy accessories and black eye-liner, as well as pencil skirts and belowthe-knee dresses, which were so popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Katy Perry is also known for her retro-inspired makeup and dress style.
Another great style that is quite common is a Rock Chic/Rock Chick. This style is all about the music, or the sex-appeal of the Rock & Roll genre and lifestyle. This style is glamorous, yet ‘badass’ and is definitely not for goody-goody girls. Rock & Roll babe is all about fierceness and independence. Of course, there are many variations of this style, like Punk, Goth and Indie; however, the main element that unites them all is a woman’s attitude. This style is for those who want to make a statement and proclaim that they don’t need anything or anyone, that they are independent and strong. Imagine a woman dressed in black leather leggings, high-heeled stilettos, and a biker jacket covered in studs, which is a good example of what an actual rock chick might wear. Another great example of this style is a combination of fishnet stockings and shorts, think Bridget Bardot, or Cherie Currie from the Runaways. Rock chic is all about the black, leather, studs and lots of black eyeliner! Plus, don’t forget rebellious attitude! However, you don’t have to go all out and turn into Marilyn Manson, all you need is a leather jacket, high-heeled boots and a smoky-eye makeup. Celebrities to look at for some rock chic inspiration are Taylor Momsen, Avril Lavigne, Gwen Stefani, Pink and, of course, Courtney Love.
The next style, or trend, is called Glamorous. This style is highly popular, especially among women in their twenties. Some of the main features of this style are: glitter, a lot of makeup, big hair, heels and bright colours, such as pink and red. This style is represented by glamour models and urban/R&B recording artists. The best examples of this style are: Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Victoria’s Secret models, Jordan (aka, Katie Price) and Kim Kardashian. This style is popular among modern young women because it’s dressy, fun and girly, which is exactly how one wants to look and feel on a night out. This trend is all about being “flashy” and is perfect for those who like attention. If you’re a girly girl and like all thing shiny, then this style is for you. So, add some glitter, false eyelashes and a body-hugging outfit, and voila, you’re a glamorous diva!
The last, but not least, is a Conservative, or Classy, style. This style is perfect for mature ladies, corporate women, and of course, women in politics. This style is all about looking feminine and sophisticated, so forget about short skirts and tight blouses. The perfect examples of this style are Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama and Jackie Kennedy. When it comes to music business, there aren’t a lot of singers that you would necessarily call conservative, unless they are opera singers; however, Adele is definitely one of them. The conservative look is all about minimalism, so the ‘less is more’ rule always applies. If you feel like this style is for you, then stick with pencil skirts, below-the-knee dresses, wide-leg trousers, blazers and simple makeup. There are many variations of this style, so it’s up to an individual. However, this style, like many others, needs to be in sync with your demeanour; a classy, or conservative, woman needs to be mannerly, polite, and calm.
Everyone has a style, although it could take some time to discover it. The key is to ask yourself who you are and what do you want people to see in you. Are you a rebel, or a goody-goody? Are you a glamour advocate, or a fierce rock chick? These questions are important, because it’s not just about the clothes and your fashion sense, it’s about finding yourself and defining who you are. Of course, style also changes, and you could go from conservative to seductive, and from hippie to glam. In the end, the change is good, it’s a sign of personal growth and development. However, it is important to know who you are today. So, be your own leader and embrace your style, instead of being a follower of fashion that doesn’t last. Fashion is dictated to us, we are constantly told what to wear and how to wear it, which stops us from developing our own style. The best thing to do is to define your style and find yourself first, and then adjust fashion trends to it, and not vice versa. www.musicreviewunsigned.com
Domino Fire illusion of Choice
The Right Regrets Rise Up Screaming
T.W.I.N.S Found a Flat
Domino Fire is an indie-rock trio from out of Somerset in England. Illusion of Choice is their demo EP. Forgive the pun but this band, judging by this demo, have a decision to make – they can either go dark, intense and heavy with the first track, The Title of this Song is Not Representative of its Content or a more pop punk direction with the second track, Illusion of Choice. Both tracks show great energy but the better song is the first track. The band may be more suited to an angry and intense approach, a more traditional punk sound and lyric. The first track is a more powerful and accomplished song and if they go with this kind of musical direction the band are, in my opinion, more likely to have success. The first track doesn’t sound derived and originality in music is probably the most important requisite if you want to create good songs. The second track is standard pop punk fare, showing the influences of Blink 182 and Green Day. Another negative is the title of the first song. It isn’t clever and it isn’t funny. Such a strong song deserves a strong title so it would be advisable to ditch it and replace it with a more interesting name. It will be interesting to hear what this band produces in the future. Verdict 4/6 /www.facebook.com/dominofiretheband
I personally think that if you want to make it in the music industry these days for either the pure love of it or just a quick buck, you must stand out, be original, different and bring something that we the audience haven’t seen or heard before. No matter how talented ‘The Right Regrets‘ are and indeed they are, again it is absolutely nothing I haven’t heard before. I might as well just listen to Avril Lavigne or Lacuna Coil. I think if Katie Toedter had better vocal ability and it was a couple of years ago this band could have made a big impact in the market. Of course I could be wrong and certainly hope so; ‘Mirage‘ is one of the best tracks on the EP. The combination of the opening piano melodically blends into a nice professional drum beat. It is that quality throughout the track that captured my attention because if it was purely based on the guitar and vocals I might have switched off. ‘The Right Regrets’ can be described as the fusion of alternative and indie rock. The trio from Oregon will be coming at you hard with their new EP ‘Rise Up Screaming’. ‘Battle Scars’ an upbeat anthem that inspired the EP’s title, received acclaim from fans and more. ‘The Right Regrets’ were asked to play acoustic sets on WFAL Falcon Radio’s show “Pop Punk Is Not Dead” and The Everything In Between Radio Show on MSC Network in Cleveland. They are currently booking shows for the summer and fall. ’Rise Up Screaming’ is due out the summer of 2013. I give the right regrets 3/6 stars. They are energetic punchy and powerful and would do a brilliant live show but again its nothing I haven’t heard before. In saying that I wish them every bit of luck and success. Verdict 3/6 www.facebook.com/therightregrets
Laurence and Hugo a.k.a T.W.I.N.S, are set to release their debut single – ‘Found a Flat’ on May 5th. The two East Londoners’ have a number of remixed tracks to take credit for but have finally decided to come out with their own material, describing their style of music as being an ‘exotic electronica with a punk echo’. ‘Found a Flat‘ which has received near enough to 2,000 views alone since its’ upload to Youtube less than a week ago, is sure to be one of those songs that gets stuck in your head – even if you don’t want it to! It’s a fun and upbeat tune accompanied with the use of drums and trumpets and the lads larking about in the video, making it enjoyable to watch. What I’d describe as somewhat of a pop song, does not contain many lyrics but it’s easy to figure out what it’s about as the line “I was looking for a flat” is said throughout the track on multiple occasions. You could say that the title is self explanatory as to what the song is about. Personally, it wouldn’t be a song I would have on my ipod BUT having said that, after listening to it a few times I found it became quiet catchy and I would now categorize it as one of my ‘guilty pleasures’, or a song you just love to hate. Come to think of it…….The song is actually similar to the Ikea commercial that was advertised last year, ‘You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties’ and I LOVE that song. So it’s a thumbs up from me! Verdict 6/6 www.facebook.com/Twinsmusic
By David Jordan
By Shane Daly
By Kirsty Ryan
Naked Sunday Sunflowers in The Rain
Semeron Breathing Scarlet
Thirteen Seven On the Inside
Maybe Motley Crue’s tell-all book The Dirt is to blame but something has inspired a recent revival of hair-metal! Naked Sunday join a growing list of bands I’ve reviewed that sound as if they just stumbled out of the Whiskey a Go-Go in 1986. Their latest single ‘Sunflowers in The Rain’ attempts to recapture the era when spandex and mullets were the height of fashion. There’s a promising start to this song; the brooding base line on the intro sounds great. The distorted pop-rock guitar riff and thumping drums on the verse sound good too, all combining to give the song an 80’s gothrock feel à la The Cult. Unfortunately that’s where the positives end. The first problem is the vocals; singer Martin Stanyers glam rock scream is just impossible to take seriously. I’ve never been a fan of high pitched vocals and this is no exception. As well as vocally, the song adheres to every other cliché of the much maligned hair metal genre. The solo is overblown, the lyrics are sappy and everything sounds horribly dated. Fans of classic rock/ hair metal may find merit in this track but I can’t. If you’re a fan of Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses or Bon Jovi and looking for a nostalgia buzz give this a spin, otherwise I’d avoid. Verdict 2/6 www.facebook.com/pages/naked-sunday
Breathing Scarlet is the latest album by Minneapolis rockers Semeron, a band very much rooted in the early foundations of heavy metal. A highly energetic, if entirely predictable, riff-heavy power rock compilation, the record, despite an exhilarating pace, remains largely the same from the word go. As is a common flaw with music of this variety, any significant imagination or creative endeavour is largely abandoned in favour of an industrious instrumental performance based around wild guitar solos and a highly escalated rhythmic pattern. Notably inspired by the soft-to-loud technique famously employed by their peers Metallica, Semeron cannot resist their frequent forays into mindless solos, even on slower tracks like ‘Ship of Fools‘, an approach that only serves to bore the listener into submission. Although the slightly altered style of tracks like ‘Trees‘, ‘Crusher‘ and ‘Rain‘ provide a welcome distraction, the album is nonetheless alarmingly one-paced, lacking the raw power of Thrash or the subtly of Alternative, while some typically unchallenging lyrics and a nondescript vocal from frontman Adam Hanson leave a lot to be desired. Overall you cannot fault Semeron’s relentless display of energy and enthusiasm on this record, but the tediously uniform nature of ‘Breathing Scarlet‘ significantly detracts from their appeal as a rock band, while a lack of both originality and creativity could very well end up being their downfall in the long run. Verdict 2/ 6 www.facebook.com/semeronmusic
After a first listen to this record it is clear that the title track is outstanding. On their website the band cites many influences but the one that comes up most and is most apparent in the music is Alice in Chains. It is especially borne out in the title track. The song is so strong that you are left thinking how will the rest of the EP live up to it? The answer is: pretty good. There are many influences at work here and most are American. This band is playing in the long tradition of Scottish bands and artists who sound like and are influenced by American rock and pop music, a tradition begun in the early to mid 80s with the likes of Simple Minds and Sheena Easton. These bands and artists went on to have success in the States and it would be no surprise if it happens for Thirteen Seven as well. However, there is also the influence of British bands such as Radiohead and Muse and, the band may be surprised to hear, the vocalist sounds like Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet, another powerful voice from the 80s. One of the best things about this band is its attitude. They talk and sound like a band who have already made it and this is important if you want to get noticed. The band exudes confidence and ability. But are they as good live as they are in the studio? How do they fill out the space live? Hopefully, the author will get a chance to decide but, for now, if the band tries to top the success of this EP, especially its opening track, and if they keep listening to good music then they should go places. Verdict 4/6 www.facebook.com/thirteenseven137
By Cian Walsh
By James Glynn
By David Jordan
The Spikes JoyList
By Robert Morrissey Following the success of their debut album “Urges and Purges”, Dublin band The Spikes are back with their new long player “JoyList”. Their second album is a nice mix of soulful, groove rock that has plenty of rhythm. The Spikes have been busy for the best part of 2012 working with Keith Lawless (Juliet Turner, Juno Falls and RTE’s Concert Orchestra) on their second album. The album opens with Million $ Circus, a soul song with enough grooves in it to shake your rattle at. It’s powerful and promising for what may be in store on the rest of the record. Second track Move To Mars is different though, we get an intense set of guitar strums, mixed with Bowie like space lyrics before launching into the ELO like chorus. It might take a few listens for this track to grow on you. Third track on “JoyList” Landing Gates Of Love is a gritty, bass driven track, offering something different as the intensity drops a bit. You Get (Home) is powerful, Led Zep style rock at its best. Terrible Error totally drops the rollercoaster rock that we experience on the previous tracks. It is a welcome change in tempo, with its soothing sound. Bed Down (Where You Go) has beautiful guitar pickings, sounding like Paulo Nutini’s ‘Growing Up Beside You’. It continues the slow theme. This track might have been
Depeche Mode Delta Machine By Leon Byrne
better placed earlier in the album, but the song is still wonderful. Girl With Many Faces is a pretty tame track, despite its riffs. However, Angel is a calm and upbeat track that does stand out. Track nine, Specialist reverts back to the gritty guitar and bass driven sound The Spikes created with the album’s third track Landing Gates Of Love. She’ll Be Screaming is one of the albums best tracks , the catchy lyrics in the chorus “And if your dying, she’ll be screaming out your name” will have you singing or
humming the tune for sure. The melody in this song is beautiful. The second last song on the album Beasts Are Coming is as dark as the title of the song suggests, adding a break between the previous track She’ll Be Screaming and the final track The World Is Yours. It is a fitting sleepy and slow finish to the album, with its final burst of energy towards the end of the song. Best Track: Bed Down (Where You Go) Rating: 3/6 /www.thespikes.net/
“Delta Machine” is a big change to the sound of their previous album and it seems that Depeche Mode have gone back to the synths and beats of what we all know and love. The guitars have been given a bit of a back seat from 2009’s “Sounds of the Universe”. Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher have released a fine album indeed. It’s probably difficult to always keep things fresh with the release of a new album. We have to remember that they’ve been going for 30 odd years now with “Delta Machine” being the band’s 13th studio album, not to mention live and remix albums. The album kicks off with “Welcome to my World” and straight into the synths and beats, as previously mentioned, with Gahan inviting the listener in: “Welcome to my world, step right through my door”. This is a great start and a song that I’d imagine will kick off their
set when they play Dublin in November. There are some strong tunes throughout the album like the sexual tensions of “Slow”, the rather underrated lead single “Heaven” and the catchy “Soft Touch/Raw Nerve” and “Soothe My Soul”. You can hear some comparisons to others bands on “Delta Machine” too. The brilliant and personal favourite “My Little Universe” sounds like something from Atoms for Peace and “Broken” has a guitar sound taken straight out of Interpol’s Daniel Kessler’s handbook. Overall “Delta Machine” is a fine album by one of electronic rocks pioneer bands. It’s great to see them still releasing albums and keeping things fresh. Bring on the gig in November.
By Cian Walsh
After years of stagnation, the Manchester music scene is once again thriving. The emergence of bands such as Everything Everything, Delphic and Hurts have given the scene a much needed lease of life. Another act looking to break out of the scene is Death to the Ghosts. Formally known as Ghosts, the indie four-piece have been on the go since 2002. Having gone through several stylistic and line-up changes, the band has shed the more abrasive elements of their work and adopted a more traditional ‘indie’ sound as evidenced on their latest release, double a side single ‘Avalon Radio/Swim Slowly’. ‘Avalon Radio’ is a three minute blast of bubble gum pop. The reverb kissed guitar jangles while the bass and drums keep the rhythm fast and furious. It’s the vocals that are the real highlight though; singer Ally Boo draws you in with her wonderful soft delivery. It’s quite the song; very similar to Veronica Falls, who’s second album has garnered very favourable reviews this year. It certainly has a commercial edge previous songs by the band did not have, you could definitely envisage this track getting airplay on a station like 6 Music in England or Phantom in Ireland. ‘Swim Slowly’ has less of an immediate impact. A slice of dream pop, it’s slow, hushed and ambient. With its droning guitar sound it has shades of Jesus and Mary Chain to it. The understated vocals are again excellentAlly Boo showing her range by adopting a more soulful delivery. While it’s the inferior of the two singles its refreshing how different the two songs are. As a band, Death to the Ghosts are a bit of an enigma. They’ve been on the go for some time and yet remain on the fringes. They certainly have the talent and the songs to go to the next level; the question is just what is holding them back? It doesn’t help that the band seems to have minimal online profile. Like it or not, the internet is what gets bands signed these day and this band don’t seem to be utilising it to its full potential. That said if they keep writing songs as good as ‘Avalon Radio’ even their own apathy won’t stand in their way. Verdict 4/6 www.facebook.com/deathtotheghosts
Two Weeks Running Beats For The Heart
Sam Austin A Busker’s Demo
Alex Thomas Here I Go
Two Weeks Running are already on their 2nd EP ‘Beats For The Heart’ released this April. They’re current fresh and bringing it back to basics with their raw edgy rockness, yes I used the ness. Usually I would pick out certain tracks and carefully dissect them but not in this case, every track pretty much nails it for me. I can see how they have managed to rack up over 30.000 hits on their YouTube channel as well as reaching the top 10 in the Reverb Nation Alternative charts. Supporting such acts as The Wombats and Reverend & The Makers I think it should have been the other way around in my opinion. These guys are awesome that melt in your mouth sexy bass line in Stay Forever is how you do it, but could not be achieved without wicked drum beats, double the guitar magic, paves the entrance for the front man who binds this quintet perfectly together. The band will be touring the U.K. throughout 2013, I certainly hope they journey here to Ireland because I truly would love to see this band live. With a unique style and texture they would easily fit into any lineup at Electric Picnic or Glastonbury and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where I saw them in two years. If six stars is all I can give for Two Weeks Running then I give them ten and more. Extremely talented and cool. I am now a fan and so should you be too, if you have a couple of pound to spare download ‘Beats For The Heart’, sit back and enjoy. Verdict 6/6 www.facebook.com/twoweeksrunning
Sam Austin‘s A Busker’s Demo doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table, but certainly does reach into the rare seen acoustic happenings. A list including tracks called Wandering Ghosts and Illegitimate Claims shows this is a collection of more than just three minute love ditties reminiscent of every other of it’s kind. This is strengthened by the skillful finger-picked intro to opener Last But Fleeting Breath. Perhaps the novelty of this wears off when it’s repeated over every following track. There’s not a lot that separates these tracks, not a lot of diversity in structure on the EP, but that doesn’t make each individual song any less impressive. Track four Noplacia offers a more percussive view on his catchy sequences, a nice change. It’s an acquired vocal style as well, but one to be admired. Sam Austin will always hold a special place in my heart as the first busker who captivated me with pure musical beauty, and as good as this is, it doesn’t do justice to one of the few artists who sound substantially better in a live environment. Verdict 4/6 www.facebook.com/samaustinmusic
Hailing from the Kingdom of Sussex in Southeast England, singer/songwriter Alex Thomas is a talented acoustic based folk/pop solo artist cohering with an unnamed female vocalist coming together to give us some rather pleasing sounds. His soulful raspy voice, reminds me somewhat of Steve Smyth from early noughties band Dirty Vegas. In fact listening to the first track “Crawl before I walk” had a similar feel to it as “All or Nothing” on Dirty Vegas’s self-titled first album. This track provides some quality, easy listening, catchy song-writing. The second track listened to was “Truly North”. Personally I didn’t find this song nearly as strong as the first track. The same three chord’s drone over throughout, this would have worked better with additional instruments maybe. Lyrically it works but I find Alex’s vocals are weak on this and the song itself just didn’t do it for me. The best part of this track in my opinion is the female vocals. She should have sang lead with Alex harmonising as the song was written for a voice like hers. “How it was Once” is the third song featured on the soundcloud. This begins to bring the quality back although I do feel it is a bit too long for my likings. The vocals on this one are unquestionably better than its predecessor “Truly North” The track really could have ended after 3mins -30 seconds. The fourth and final track, “Skeletons” is by far my favourite track, an undeniably a toe tapper Skeletons offers a more upbeat feel to the previous ballads. I’m liking everything about this one. All in all Alex Thomas provides some definite talent, keep it up. Verdict 4/6 www.facebook.com/Alexthomasmusic
By Shane Daly
By Dom Beale
By Caroline Byrne
Go Zilla Self Titled
Cli Review of five singles
Scarlet Street Barberpop
I can see what they were aiming for and trying to achieve here with this new urban style mix, unfortunately I think the ship has sailed and Go Zilla are about ten years too late. There’s a lot going on in each track slightly Emo dance/rap and I couldn’t help thinking as I reverently guide my way through the tunes whispers in my head saying you’re not American. There are indeed elements I liked especially the soft alluring guitar work in “Don’t Wait for me” followed by sweet vocals and drum beat. But that’s where it ends and I find myself listening to a new recycled dance formula of what Fall Out Boy/Puddle of Mud/Funeral for a Friend already did almost a decade ago. In saying that these boys are talented and like any unsigned act I wish them the best. Musically gifted Go Zilla gets three stars from me it may not be my cup of tea but I’m sure only good things can happen from this hard-working London trio with their new album available for download I recommend you check them out. Verdict 3/6 www.facebook.com/GoZillaOfficial
These singles by Cli (aka Christopher Lindholm) sound almost entirely computer generated, accept, of course, the vocals. However, they have a catchy pop sensibility and show considerable song writing prowess. Cli is an ingenious craftsman but, unfortunately, he is not a good vocalist. His voice lacks power and character. It might be a good idea for Cli to stay behind the computer as the musical mastermind and have someone else do the singing. In fairness, there are other vocalists on these five tracks but Cli should, perhaps, go the whole way and find a permanent vocalist. Another weakness is the production. There is simply too much top end which leaves the tracks too trebly and tinny. However, over all, Cli is a master of electronica, using it to put together some truly excellent songs as well as majestic soundscapes. The lyrics are also pleasing. They are different from standard pop electronica lyrics that can be heard on the airwaves and music TV. They are more intelligent and indie sounding, without a trace of sentimentality. This is the kind of music you can dance to as well as sit down and listen to and you can’t get better pop music than that. Verdict 5/6 www.facebook.com/theofficialCLI
Bringing back the retro ‘Barberpop’ sound from the 40’s while featuring a few beats of hip hop these four girls from Newcastle are onto something sweet. The band is made up of four talented singers, Rachel Cook, Jennifer Davies, Zita Frith and Rosie Winter who have released their stunning three track EP, Barberpop. Filled with vocals that are pitch perfect and perfectly thought out beats, and it’s enough to get you hooked. Each and every song on the EP flow into one another with ease, with lyrics that are bound to get embedded in your head. The girl’s voices blend so effortlessly together proving that these girls were born to sing together. The beats are funky and modern with the Barberpop style it’s enough to make you want to dance. There is defiantly room in the charts for these girls. The songs tell a story of love heartbreak and playing men at their own game, which is exactly what ladies want to hear. Superb debuts from the new girls on the block. Keep an eye and ear out for these girls because I’m sure 2013 will be their year. Verdict 6/6 www.facebook.com/scarletst
By Shane Daly
By David Jordan
By Jennifer Ormsby
Live Gig reviewers from all coners of the world, we are looking for music reporters to send us live music reviews of your local music scene - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jax Rest your case
Verona Riots Live For The Moment
Eoin Martin Seasons
The Jax. Rock’n'roll in Swedish. What else do you need to know? Thus reads the Jax’s brief and exclamatory Soundcloud description. After listening to their debut album Rest Your Case, one gets a sense of just how legitimate this mantra is. Engaging with Scandinavia’s impressive legacy of rock and metal, The Jax gives a textbook presentation of these genres. From the pleasurable guitar riffs of Where’s the Action? through to the impassioned conclusion of Home, this is a high-energy album soaked with typical power-ballad lyricism and conventional rock formula. Each song carries admirable instrumentation. The galloping percussion is ambitious and reminiscent of Maiden’s Nicko McBrain. Ready or Not even begins with an atmospheric blues intro before erupting into more familiar guitar soundscapes. One of the album’s most commendable attributes is its usage of overdubbing and echo effects on the vocals; often times various different recordings of his voice will harmonize pleasingly. Overall, their material follows a safe routine, but it is far from groundbreaking. The music is skillful and the production value of the tracks is high, but there is an inescapable sense of déjà vu to these songs. They fail to bring anything new to the table of rock, and seem little more than a tribute to their inspirations. It may appeal to desperately avid fans of the current metal scene. For anyone outside the genre, however there is nothing to sink your teeth into other than the terse and unexplained concept of Rock’n’roll in Swedish. Verdict 3/6 www.facebook.com/thejaxofficial
‘Live For The Moment‘ is the debut album from Dublin band Verona Riots. Homely and melodic throughout the band seem to play their like-ability factor to their advantage with the end result being a pleasant mix of acoustic rock and upbeat, mainstream pop. Although the album never really demonstrates the originality or cutting edge you might hope for in a debut over the course of its 12 tracks, it remains a highly agreeable, if slightly naive listen nonetheless. Fairly balanced throughout while offering very few surprises along the way, the record proceeds in a typical acoustic singer/songwriter fashion with accessible, yet industrious tunes based around some catchy guitar hooks and singable choruses. Rhythmic songs like the opening ‘Keep On Moving‘ and the more hook-heavy ‘Everything You Are‘ are highly anthemic in nature and set the tone for the rest of the record which largely keeps pace up until until after the fifth track. At this point there is a notable progression from hook-driven acoustic ballads and anthems to more distinguished, buoyant pop tunes of which songs like ‘Anybody Else‘ and ‘Met You Before‘ stand out with their catchy, affable melodies. ‘Till I Hurt You‘ an unhurried yet endearing pop ballad, and the surprisingly dark closing track ‘It’s Over Now‘ which catches the listener somewhat off guard with its dramatic uncertainty. Overall, ‘Live For The Moment‘ is a perfectly decent pop record that capitalises on the right blend of charm and resonance to invoke an ultimately favourable response. Verdict 4/6 www.facebook.com/veronariots
As far as guitars go, nothing beats the acoustic guitar when it’s played expertly. Eoin Martin, from Offaly, is such an expert. He plays so beautifully and accomplished that he cannot fail to impress. His riffs would rival Metallica and his use of harmonics is exquisite but restrained – it would be easy to overdo it. Martin is clearly a master of the instrument. He also impresses with that other instrument, the voice. Put simply, he sings his heart out. He is also not afraid to sing with an American accent which is a throwback to Irish rock singers in the 70s and 80s, for example Bono and Phil Lynott. The lyrics are intelligent and well crafted and they round off what is a gorgeous collection of songs. This is the perfect Indie record. A flawless gem. There are no week songs or repetitions here. It would be interesting to see where Eoin Martin goes from here, having mastered the one man with an acoustic guitar gig. Will he go electric? Will he form a band? Whatever he chooses to do you get the feeling that he cannot but succeed. An exciting prospect. Verdict 6/6 www.youtube.com/user/eoinm323
By Oisin Blennerhassett
By James Glynn
By David Jordan
Every Tuesday night
Led By Giants Self Titled
Cult Choir High Spirits
“Suck me out hear me shout” catchy yet comical lyrics from Psycho Bones track one from the new debut EP by Led By Giants. At first listen I thought I was listening to Light Grenades or any album earlier from Incubus, one of my favourite bands of all time. This four piece funk rock band from Manchester are infectious and sublime I tried and its kinda hard to fault them, in saying that I was not so gone on the first tack it seemed rather dated more suited to the 90′s. Production value is weak and the rhythm section suffers a little for that, but is quickly picked right back up by sweet crisp guitar riffs accompanied by rocky vocals and clever lyrics. If my eyes had of been blindfolded I could have put money on the fact that “Open wood” was from a Brandon Boyd solo album, this track is clearly the best but at times seemed like it had been rushed. Led By Giants are one to watch out for and in my humble opinion could be potentially huge. With an excellent soulful quality to them I could easily recommend six stars and eagerly await tour dates. Verdict 6/6 www.facebook.com/ledbymusic
Cult Choir is like The Beach Boys meets psychedelic synth pop. Their debut EP – High Spirits – has an impressive 16 tracks, all of which win you over with their ‘lazy hazy days’ vibe. I’m inclined to think of a male equivalent to Lana del Ray, combined with a much mellower version of Animal Collective. The first song, ‘Perfect’, has a gentle energy. It sets the scene for the rest of the album, and immediately puts you at ease. The next few songs continue along these lines, until we come to ‘The Score’, which picks up the pace a little with some nice guitar riffs. ‘Cold October’ is a little darker, and less easy breezy; it’s one of my favourite tracks on the EP. ‘Turn Out The Lights’ brings it back to the melodic sound, while ‘New Life’ finishes the EP off nicely. It’s soulful and peaceful and chaotic and modern and nostalgic all at once, and the whole effect is rather haunting. Shane Graybill’s vocals are meandering and crooning, and suit his music perfectly. ‘High Spirits’ is dreamy and colourful, and will leave you feeling very at ease and somewhat psychedelic. It is hard to fit it in to a genre, and it’s certainly not to everyone’s taste, but Cult Choir is something to watch out for. Think sunset at a hippie summer music festival, with lots of love and daydreaming. Verdict 4/6 www.cultchoir.bandcamp.com/
‘Last of the Small Town Heroes‘ is the hopelessly deficient debut EP from Bristol Indie rockers Holding Tides, a record that sounds horribly amateur in it’s entirety. A stale 8-tracker lacking in any real rock ‘n’ roll viguor and following just about every punk rock cliché there is, while still managing to sound alarmingly tone-deaf, not to mention thoroughly uninteresting. The humdrum guitar riffs fail to generate the impulse required to sustain the record while a lurid air of teenage rock naivety emanates throughout. Although tracks like ‘Breadline‘ and ‘Can’t Go Back‘ display a degree of the raw energy and enthusiasm you would associate with the genre they are ultimately let down by some unbelievably out of tune vocals and some painful lyrics that range from the mundane to the ridiculously cheesy. Other tracks like the more downbeat ‘Paraffin‘ feel noticeably out of place, demonstrating that the band aren’t entirely comfortable with a sudden change of pace, while the presence of three out of eight intermediate tracks hints of an overall lack of confidence and ability. If I was to pick a highlight at a push I would go for ‘Grace by Green‘, as it is the one track I didn’t want to switch off after about 40 seconds, but altogether this is an EP with so many problems that it really shouldn’t really have left the editing room. In the comical outro ‘Final Broadcast‘ one of the band members suggests that “He doesn’t think there are any survivors left out there“. Ironically enough at that stage of the record, I doubt there will be. Verdict 1/6 www.facebook.com/HoldingTides
By Shane Daly
By Karin Carthy
in The Mercantile Venue Dame Street Dublin
Last of the Small Town Heroes By James Glynn
By Shaun Cole It’s always a little daunting reviewing an album that has already received favourable attention from various publications, stations and zines. The Lunar Pilots are one of those bands that, despite receiving this attention, still remain unsigned and as a result of this their debut album Point Of No Return lands on a humble MRU journalist’s desk. Straight away it’s easy to see why the band has received favourable attention from various radio stations. Their synth-pop infused rock that starts with High As The Stars is not too dissimilar to the likes of Temper Trap, or a more poppy Midnight Juggernaughts, it’s the kind of sound that a daytime playlist would literally play to death. Listening further to the album comparisons to rock/pop acts like Rooney and Phantom Planet (CALIFORNIAAAAAA!) become apparent even though the band is based thousands of miles away in Chelmsford. They have a certain American pop sound to them whilst still keeping their British edge on things. Songs like Crash and Burn even sound like they would be at home in a teenmovie, or even a teen orientated soap opera. The band has already managed to land a pay-
cheque after Hollyoaks used their song in an episode. I mean hey it’s worked for countless bands before them and it could be their launch pad to greater things, maybe even being played in the background of The Queen Vic, that’s when you know you’ve really made it! In some ways I can imagine The Lunar Pilots to be one of those acts that cross over into different popularity circles. Like the indie band the pop kids can name drop and the pop band the indie kids aren’t afraid to like. After the initial up-beat intro though I found it hard to find that stand out single that would get crowds moving and teenage girls singing along. The tempo seemed to slow right down and any moments that would initiate movement were few and far between. I personally found it hard to maintain my level of attention later on into the album, the standard pop structure and the sheer amount of filler started to grate slightly. There seemed to be massive sections of instrumental that didn’t need to be there making some songs unnecessarily long. Without being harsh to the band though I think this obviously comes from my different tastes in music, steering away from the more standard structures and song writing techniques. Lunar Pilots have definitely got some attention and aimed at the
right genre they could be an English equivalent of some of those aforementioned bands. Along with their producer, Steve Orchard (see Google for mass of work), the band describe their sound as ‘new retro’ and tracks like Hindsight start to show you what they mean. There’s a bit more to it than the band just taking something old and making it sound new though, we’ve all heard dated genres brought back to life by some clued up music students. The Lunar Pilots seem to have added something more though, what that is though I can’t quite put my finger on, you’ll only really know by giving Point Of No Return a listen yourself. It’s fair to say that music pricing has become a hot issue to talk about in the music industry. With only a handful of people still buying CD’s and record shops continuing to fall flat on their face, wiping the tears away like a wounded toddler. A lot of the time it seems that unsigned bands charging ‘full album prices’ seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick but £7.99 for 15 tracks (including an extended mix and two bonus tracks) is a bargain in anyone’s books, even one of those illegal downloading types! Well maybe not but you get the picture. www.facebook.com/thelunarpilots
The Way We Were in 1989 Floating Islands By James Glynn
‘Floating Islands‘, the recently released EP by Seattle duo Kelly Dale and Joy Dunay, aka The Way We Were in 1989, is another example of the fine work being carried out by the upwardly mobile Team Pegasus, the American West-Coast art collective behind some of the year’s most exciting new releases. Drawing on a number of musical and stylistic influences, including electronica, acid jazz, synth pop, alternative and psychedelia, this laid back, highly atmospheric 6-track compilation certainly ticks all the boxes of a successful, modern electro-pop record with enough character to transcend the lounge room/ chill out scene. Although not ground-breaking by any means, with a moody, electronic score that would not feel out of place on a film noir sound track, the EP’s main appeal lies in it’s unpredictability in crossing the genre divide while remaining steadily downbeat throughout. The record’s constant forays into pop distinguishes it from some of the more somber sounding electronic acts while it’s ability to surprise is a most welcome feature, with the familiar synth underscore often interrupted by a hard-edged bass guitar sample, a string set or piano chorus, a high octane drum machine beat, or even a dab of accordion. The dark, minimalist sound of tracks like ‘Cleanse (Maximal Mix)‘ and ‘Rock & Roll‘ echo the foreboding nature of 90s Trip hop while more original tunes like ‘Cliffs of Dubland‘ with its distinct retro folk feel, and ‘Come Around‘ which sounds much more alternative, richly complement what is a highly absorbing yet very subtle musical composition. ‘Floating Islands‘ does feel a bit one-paced in parts and it is debatable whether ‘TWWW1989′ could expand their acute sound into a full length album especially if persisting with such a supremely downbeat underscore, but as an introduction to their musical talents, the EP works a treat. No doubt a precursor for much greater things to come for the duo, and once again testament to the endeavour of the Team Pegasus Collective, ”The Way We Were in 1989‘ are an act that come highly recommended. Verdict 5/6 www.facebook.com/TheWayWeWereIn1989
Kye Alfred Hillig Together Through It All By James Glynn
One of the more interesting break-out acts from last year, American West-coast singer/songwriter Kye Alfred Hillig returns with his new album ‘Together Through It All‘ a 14-track follow up to his 2012 debut, ‘Aurora‘. An absorbing, eclectic mix featuring a superbly assembled supporting cast of musicians and fellow artists, the album demonstrates immense promise although occasionally suffers from a lack of pace in parts. Accommodating a wide range of styles including stripped-back acoustic ballads, folk-inspired pop, electronically generated scores, and some good, old fashioned high-tempo rock tunes, there is certainly plenty on offer for the listener to consume, while the record’s curious composition ensures plenty of twists and turns throughout. Raw, often sombre-sounding ballads like ‘Diving Dove‘, ‘You and Me in Time‘ and the ghostly, Springsteen-esque ‘Trampled/Triumphant’ are expertly complemented by some sanguine pop tunes such as ‘Life as a Rat‘ and the exquisitely retrosounding ‘An Unedited Presentation of Souls‘, while tracks like the dark, synth-affected ’Breaking Lungs‘ or the rousing, heavily distorted rock verve of ‘Free The Birds‘ add a fascinating extra dimension.
The lyrics are meaningful throughout, exploring various issues evidently personal to the artist, including life lessons, relationships and fatherhood, while a potentially foreboding context (Hillig recorded the album during a work stint at a funeral home) surprisingly doesn’t affect what is an abundantly hopeful tone. Although the album’s mood is significantly enhanced by a number of highly interesting tracks, the pace does lull in places, particularly on the less inventive acoustic tracks, while the much generated energy and intrigue noticeable erodes towards it’s conclusion. Despite this however Kye Alfred Hillig has done more than enough to capture our imaginations prior to this and should be very proud of his part in creating another insightfully composed, intellectual piece of music that resonates well with the listener. A worthy record in every respect and one that will surely enhance the already commendable reputation of the singer-songwriter from Tacoma, Washington. Verdict 5/6 www.facebook.com/kyealfredhilligmusic www.musicreviewunsigned.com
RTE In Colour and MRU feature:
The Disconnected Bliss By Laura Mullett
RU Magazine in association with ‘In Colour’ on RTE 2XM have teamed up to showcase homegrown talent through a weekly radio and magazine segment. I am appearing on the radio show every week to review an upcoming unsigned Irish band on air and also select a track from their EP to play on the show. We are looking for bands and solo artists to feature on ‘In Colour’ on RTE 2xm – and the ones that make the cut will not only be featured on air on the Monday but will have a feature written by me about them in MRU Magazine the same week.
The Disconnected Bliss were a great band to get the ball rolling for the first show and set the standards high. The band formed in 2010 and they have been in demand on the gig circuit ever since. Bobby Hewitt who is on guitar and vocals also has vast producing skills and in tandem with the other band members has fine tuned their sound. Ian Munt is on bass and vocals and Eddie Carroll is the drummer. The band’s influence are a medley of tastes, they are inspired by Alice In Chains, Bowie, Muse, Van Halen, Massive Attack, Blur, The Beatles and many more. But it is clear that the sound of ‘The
Disconnected Bliss’ is distinctive, experimental and refreshing. Collectively the Athlone trio are a great blend of eclectic sounds and influences. A very talented & innovative band. I played their leading track off their selftitled EP called ‘Run’.'Run’ is without fail the standout track. It is unique and mellow but fresh. It is reminiscent of early Bowie or a funkier Two Door Cinema Club. It has that lively 80’s vibe and is a tune you can imagine at a festival. It’s the sound of Summer. Their six track EP is also made up of ‘my friend indeed’ – a melancholy upbeat track that is
“We are planning on gigging as much as possible to promote the new EP and want to get on the festival circuit around Ireland this summer but in times like these we are finding it hard..”
very evocative and is a testament to how ‘The Disconnected Bliss’ can offer up an EP that has a lot of range teamed with an infectious sound. You hear one track – you want to hear them all . Other tracks ‘Magazine’ ‘h20′ ‘blutac’ and ‘all for show’ toe the line between catchy and fast- paced but it is evident this band has their finger on the pulse and yet isn’t trying to be something they are not. When I caught up with the band they expressed their interest to play the Irish festival scene this Summer: “We are planning on gigging as much as
possible to promote the new EP and want to get on the festival circuit around Ireland this summer but in times like these we are finding it hard..” That is the reality for a lot of Irish bands and artists out there – times are tough but it seems evident that ‘The Disconnected Bliss’ have a bright future ahead of them. If they were playing at a festival this Summer to the masses – It would be unmissable in my opinion. The lead single of their EP ‘Run’ is set for release on May 19th but the EP is available now on itunes, cd-baby and spotify.
You can find ‘The Disconnected Bliss’ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thedisconnectedbliss and on their website www.thedisconnectedbliss.com You can click here to listen back to Monday’s ‘In Colour’ on RTE 2XM show featuring ‘The Disconnected Bliss’ on the radio player. If you want to be featured on RTE ‘In Colour’ on 2XM and MRU Magazine in the same week you can email me on email@example.com or tweet me on www.twitter.com/lauramullett www.musicreviewunsigned.com
Live Review ::: Third Smoke Whelan’s/Dublin By Leon Byrne
Roll up, . . . roll up, . . . roll up – It’s a very carnival like atmosphere upstairs in Whelan’s tonight for the sold-out headliner by Dundalk’s energetic Third Smoke. But before all that we had support act Monster Island, a band with a similar sound to fellow Mancunian Mark E Smith and his band The Fall. Also on the bill was the excellent sounding north Dublin Indie rockers The Kapitals who are definitely ones to watch for the future. Third Smoke take to the stage a 10pm or so with their charismatic and somewhat quirky ringleader Hugh Donlon dressed in his usual stage gear of a striped white shirt and braces. This look really suits the bands personality of . . . you know . . . not taking themselves too seriously, being a bit fun and easy going. They’re kind of like a light hearted Mumford & Sons with plenty of vocal harmonies with some excellent guitar work. The lads kick off with an acapella style vocal that eventually leads into “Heavy
Sunshine,” a heavy sing-along with the apologetic refrain of “I will never f**k up again” screamed at the crowd by Donlon. It seems half of Dundalk has been attracted here, with most of them singing along in relative unison. New song “Come What May” gets an airing tonight, so too “Dark Tides” and crowd favourites and previous singles “People Are Messy” and “Dog Rough Dancing.” The main reason Third Smoke are here tonight is to promote the release of their brand-new single “Peacock.” The song is an excellent yet somewhat downbeat affair with some excellent vocal harmonies. It’s not your usual, run of the mill single but its impressive stuff. A bold move by the band that I hope pays off. Third Smoke ends tonight’s set with their own version of Foster the People’s 2011 hit single “Pumped up Kicks.” It brings the curtain down on a great night’s entertainment. www.facebook.com/ThirdSmoke
Live Review ::: Alt J Olympia Theatre/Dublin By Leon Byrne
Forget Villagers, forget Foals and forget Biffy Clyro. Last night saw Leeds electro indie outfit Alt J play to a sold out audience in The Olympia Theatre and this was definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, GIG OF THE YEAR – An absolutely stunning gig. I know, they mightn’t of had the stage presence of Foals for example. There was a lot more crowd interaction from Yannis Phillipakis and friends, but Alt J certainly made up for it with the song craft and sheer talent. I mean, their drummer, Thom Green, was outstanding. What a heavy hitter. I just couldn’t take my eyes off him all night. The Leeds 4-piece kicked off their set with the aptly titled “Intro”, the first song from their 2012 Mercury Music Award winning debut album “An Awesome Wave”. Singles “Tessellate” and “Something Good” got an early airing to a delighted crowd. As the band has only the one album out at the moment they had to improvise a little to add to the setlist. They played some covers including
Photo by Jory Cordy
“A Real Hero”, a cover of College’s anthem from the Drive soundtrack, which they made their own. A new song called “Buffalo” was thrown in to the mix too. This was a song Alt J done for the Silver Linings Playbook movie soundtrack and a cracker it was too. Personal album favourite “Matilda” was a highlight of the night. Lead singer Joe Newman seemed fairly astonished with the crowd singing back most of the vocals to him. It’s definitely one of the main aspects of a gig in Dublin, you’ll always get a good sing-along going. The band finished off the main set with most well know single “Breezeblocks” before the encore of “Handmade” and closing track “Taro”. Alt J are a seriously brilliant band, so will knit. It was a privilege to catch them in such an intimate setting that is The Olympia Theatre. Everyone in the crowd will be talking about this for a long time to come. www.facebook.com/altJ.band
Review By Shaun Cole
In recent times the traditional band outfit has been subject to some aggressive restructuring. Some have choose to scale up and include almost everything from an additional percussionist, second violinist to somebody at the back noodling about on an Apple Mac, the illuminated sign assuring you they’re doing something, they promise! Others choose to drop the baggage of extra members, stripping it all back to just a two or three key elements and multi-tasking in the name of efficiency. Outfits such as Death From Above 1979, The Kills and of course the giant, The White Stripes have proven the two-piece a theorem, taking it to new levels of commercial recognition. Now nobody wants to be constantly compared back to what has done before though and to simply brand The Wave a punk-rock White Stripes would not only be ill-informed and ignorant but it would also be wrong. So from this point onwards there will be no mention of the aforementioned two pieces and we will instead take the Swedish based, The Wave’s, latest release, The Clinic, outside of all its preconceptions. From the very beginning it’s evident where this album is going, it begins snarling with the juvenile attitude you’d come to expect from a punk record and it finishes on no less. It’s not all thrash, thrash, thrash and the kind of distortion that makes your speaker cones
whimper in fear though, slower tracks have the sleazier element of Gimmie Danger from the iconic Iggy and The Stooges album, Raw Power. There are quite a lot of these slower moments and it gives the record a really varied dynamic. The vocals are slowed right down, almost whispering at points like a late night radio DJ; close to the microphone making you feel at one with the vocal delivery. These moments are so prominent in fact that at one point I thought that The Clinic was going to have one as its finale with I Might Be What You Need, that is of course until the crescendo finally reached its peak and kicked in with its jerky rhythms and noisy interludes. There are of course still the ‘classic punk moment’ too (remember I mentioned that speaker scaring distortion?), snippets of Ramones and other New York/CBGB’s culture creep into songs such Danny’s Dads a Shrink but without sounding stale and overdone. The band whole heartedly admit they are influenced by this scene and to some extent there is only so much you can do with the patented punk formula, there’s no point in reinventing the whole alphabet just to write a new word. If aint’ broke you know? I’m not saying the record is a straight carbon copy rip off though, there’s something really modern about it that means it wouldn’t quite fit in circa 1970’s New York. I hear more than some punk kids playing poorly because that’s
all they could play; I hear influence from other areas contributing to a more mature punk record. One of the influences that I really like is how noise is used, certain tracks choose to use feedback and noise in place of riffs and it takes a really clever song writing mind to be able to fit them in so effortlessly without sounding clichéd or ill fitting. Sure the guitar and drums in themselves aren’t ridiculously difficult riffs or rhythms but it takes a higher calibre of player to be able to create that sound rather than just displaying their ability. It’s simple and its effective, that’s exactly what Punk proved to us all those years ago, I think sometimes it takes a band like The Wave to not so politely remind us. The bands mantra is clearly displayed on their soundcloud “We want to root out the bullshit. We are The Wave. We want to change everything”. A bold statement but one that they back up with a record like The Clinic. It’s true there is a lot of bullshit in our music industry at the moment, I’d say The Wave are a breath of fresh air but that wouldn’t do their sound any sort of justice and sure they might not change everything but they might just catch enough people’s attention to change something, and I really hope they do. www.facebook.com/TheWaveSweden
How to Destroy Angels Welcome oblivion
Alias Empire Safety in Numbers
Released on March 4th 2013, Welcome Oblivion is an album by How to destroy angels. The experimental sound of this electronic album is full of robotic futuristic sounds. To place this album in the genre of experimental/electronic would be an understatement. The group are based in Los Angeles California and are made up of Mariqueen Maandig, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Rob Sheridan. The opening track of the album The wake up sets the tone for what can only be described as a trip into the future, for me this is the best song on the album by a long way. Great use of the drums which seem to have heavy compression on them to hit you in the face whilst listening. The song is set alight with the use of different synths, and when the female vocal kicks in there seems to be heavy effects processing and distortion on the voice and this really adds to the overall unique sound that How to Destroy Angels have managed to create throughout this album. This is not an album for the faint hearted by any means, but credit where credit is due; musically this is a futuristic masterpiece. The production on this album is of a high quality with clever use of effects processing to hook the listener’s ear in on most tracks within the album. The album also has elements of ‘chill-out’ to it in places. In the song Strings and Attractors this is highly apparent. The vocal in the track is very laid back and the song in general is not as aggressive and highly drum based as some of the other tracks on the album, in turn giving the album some diversity. The last track of the album is Hallowed Ground and is pretty much an outro. I was disappointed with this and I thought the group might have went with something a little more livelier for their parting track, that being said the album is unpredictable by it’s very nature, and in some ways that is what is so admirable about the production of this album. To summarise I feel that this album would come under the same bracket as Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Although it would not be the first album onto my ipod I do have appreciation for the production on the album and it is easy to listen to in places. www.facebook.com/howtodestroyangels
Alias Empire are an electro rock 3 piece from Dublin consisting of Kevin Littlewood, Phil Porter and Stuart Flood. “Safety in Numbers” is the bands 2nd album after releasing their debut “Unexpected Falls” back in 2007. The band were originally called Dry County but decided to change their name to something more suitable to their new sound. As well as that people used to see their name printed on posters as Dry Country and assume they were a country music band. “Safety in Numbers” is a top quality album that kicks off with the lines “and your mouth is directly over mine and this breathing comes slowly – synchronized, you and I are everything and nothing all at once, use your teeth and draw blood, we will be until one breaks” from the aptly titled “Introduction”. This is a stunning opening track. It’s a 5 minute slow burner with blips and beeps over a sublime and lazy bass line. It’s very Kid A-ish. It explodes to life half way through with massive beats, superb synths and fuzzy guitar. There are some similarities to Depeche Mode and early Primal Scream throughout. There are other influences on here too like with “Colour Code” and “Out & Out”. They sound like something from Nine Inch Nails’ groundbreaking 1994 album The Downward Spiral. The lead single and most radio friendly track “Lay Down” would not seem out of place on Cork band Exit: Pursued by a Bear’s terrific self titled debut. Incidentally Dry Country supported on their album launch gig in Cork a few years back. Not all the songs are the same either. There are some subtle changes like with the strings on the slower, more relaxed “Dead Zoo” and the raw heaviness of “Black & White”. Along with “Introduction” the best song on here is the blissful, guitar led “Two Ones”. This has some great keyboards, heavy drums mixed with a dreamy vocal. Overall Alias Empire’s “Safety in Numbers” is a seriously good album and definite contender for album of the year so far. www.facebook.com/pages/Alias-Empire
By Aidan Sheerin
By Leon Byrne
Ditchin Quincy Better Days
Subby J Oops… We’re Late!
Starting a band must be a daunting prospect in this day and age, what with the Internet and a million wanna-be Journalists (myself included) hiding behind their keyboards. Still, daunting or not, many bands choose to defy the odds and give it their best shot, Ditchin Quincy are one of the bands that have done just that with their latest single, Better Days. Strangely enough when I loaded up the bands Soundcloud the Bside, Devil Eyes, began to play. A firm believer in fate I decided not to change it and let it play, instantly I was struck by its up-beat, reverby/indie delivery. Now to avoid falling into that journalistic trap of inventing words and not really clarifying anything about the band and their record I’ll state here that I am fully aware that the phrase ‘reverby/indie’ doesn’t really clear things up in terms of genre or sound. Instead, think like Foals but slowed down and mixed with an Orlando Weeks, of The Maccabees, style vocal delivery. This vocal delivery is earlier tinted with a soul husk that might even border on Paulo Nutini, in the band’s first track, (second to me) Better Days. Better Days is a little slower and it could be a tactical move on the bands part to start the page load up with Devil Eyes, the former is not a bad song just one that maybe could use a little more life as it does become a little repetitive in places and I felt my attention wavering I don’t mean for this review to sound like a list of name dropping comparisons but I think it’s the best way to explain the band at present. In the early days of most bands they lend heavily from their influences, maybe even covering a song or two! Having only formed in late 2012/early 2013 I think Ditchin Quincy are very much in this stage. This is nothing to be ashamed of though, it’s something that all bands do and I think with a little work on this (the bands are currently working towards writing their first EP) the band could be implanting their melodies onto vintage denim jacket laden youths ear drums in no time. The band definitely have some potential and could potentially be Dublin’s answer to some of the Indie giants that the mainland have been spitting out in the last few years. Verdict 4/6 www.facebook.com/DitchnQuincy
In a music industry increasingly reliant upon technology-based music, it’s always refreshing to see a band taking an old-school approach. The raw and blissful instrumentals of Subby J’s album Oops… We’re Late! resource various musical scenes in an effective way. The opening track, Mr. Anderson brings to mind the mature alternative rock of The Smashing Pumpkins while maintaining a sense of Blink 182 playfulness. Contrastively, the lyrics are rather melancholy. Lines such as “Your brightness didn’t let me see/The streets cracked right behind me” set up an intriguing juxtaposition between the subject matter and the care-free guitar accompaniment. The song ends with a climactic acceleration into tamed screams, and by using an attribute of more recent punk rock bands they prove even further their eclectic range of influence. A Zombie Tale remains consistent with their joyful nature, while resorting to a vintage punk feel. The lead vocalists inhabit a comfortable middle-ground between Sid Vicious and Rodney Linderman. It concludes with a sensational xylophone solo. The remix that concludes the short album is an energetic, head-banging conclusion. In short, this band infuses their content with a glowing positivity and while borrowing heavily from the past retain their own sense of identity. With an album like Oops We’re Late they are spearheading punk-rock in 2013, and it’s a commendable ambition. Verdict 4/6 www.facebook.com/subbyj
By Shaun Cole
By Oisin Blennerhassett
Freak Motif ::: La Casa Blanca By Cian Walsh
Released in December of last year ‘La Casa Blanca’ is the debut album of Freak Motif. Featuring 15 musicians over 13 original tracks; the album is an eclectic mix of funk, soul, ska and reggae. Predominately instrumental; most of the tracks on the album were composed, arranged, and recorded in one session so that the band could capture the energy and spontaneity of their live shows. The album opens with ‘Infunkstigation’; at a mere 30 seconds in length it’s hardly the greatest of openers but the with its funky soulful guitar it does give an indication of what the bands about . ‘Night Crawler’ is the first ‘proper’ song. A soulful jazzy number, musically it brings to mind The Specials Ghost Town but with an added Latin flavour. The brass section really impresses on this one. They really bring energy and verve to the track. ‘On Track’ features rapper Teekay and is one of the few songs to have vocals. The emcee is given the limelight as the rhythm section takes a backseat. The rapper takes his opportunity; his smooth flowing verses really complimenting the track. ‘The Heist’ ups the tempo and the funk with some nice slap bass and horns. Again it’s an instrumental but who needs words with a song so funky! With its rhythmic guitar riff and its rising horns it’s really similar in sound to Jungle Boogie by Kool & The Gang. A great groove and one of the stand-out tracks on the album. The band mixes things up over the next three tracks. On ‘Green Police’ the Freaks swap funk for reggae. Built around an uplifting doo-wop style guitar riff the track is a nice change of pace. Its followed by ‘(Freaks)’; a short upbeat interlude. Next up is ‘Road to Riches’, a quirky track which sounds like a pastiche of Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Marricone. The horn section is given centre stage again on ‘Skannukah’. Another ska number, this one is even more upbeat. ‘Superfatassbassandallthatotherfunkydopeshi t’ is a pulsing, languid dub groove. The whispered vocals add to the blunted vibe of the track although the song is let down by the clichéd vocals and lyrics which are borrowed from The Fugees How Many Mics. ‘Death of the King’ follows next. With its guitar driven intro it brings to mind Hendrix’s’ Crosstown Traffic. Rockier than any of the previous tracks it shows yet another side to the bands repertoire. There’s a slight dip in quality as the album
comes to a close as things get a little formulaic. ‘(witchdoctor)’ is an unremarkable interlude. Rise see’s the band try their hand at another doo-wop/reggae hybrid. ‘The Explorer’ is a languid chill-out track with an middle-eastern tinge to it. None of the tracks are awful but the album certainly finishes with a whimper rather than a bang. ‘La Casa Blanca’ really surprised me, I really didn’t think I’d warm to an album of funk/soul/jazz instrumentals but its testament to the quality of this album that I did. What enticed me about the album is the quality of
the musicianship. The chemistry and energy between the musicians is excellent all the more impressive when you consider that a lot of the tracks were done in one session. It’s not perfect by any stretch; I have a feeling a little bit of the magic of the bands live show is lost on record. At 13 songs it’s a tad long as well. Nevertheless this is a fine collection of songs on an album that is full of surprises. If you’re looking for something fun and different then this is for you. Verdict 3/6 www.facebook.com/FreakMotif www.musicreviewunsigned.com
The Dirty Hooks ::: Electric Grit By Mark Timoney
Their blog opens by simply stating ‘The Dirty Hooks are three petty criminals who crossed paths in a naked city crime circle, & began writing music after sharing a cell in Las Vegas’s very own metro county jail’. Thankfully they had the fine sense to record this meeting and provide us ‘the unsuspecting public’ with a soundtrack to accompany this journey which is just sublime. I am grateful
to say I have lived long enough to hear the product of this great meeting. Finally Las Vegas has produced a great band. What about the Killers I hear you say?? My answer, ‘ Las Vegas has finally produced a great band. The Dirty Hooks are according to their blog an Indie/Blues/Garage Rock band formed in Las Vegas, Nevada in June 2010. The band
features vocalist/bass guitarist Bobby McCall, guitarist Anthony Ratto and drummer/vocalist Jenine Cali. But this does nothing to describe them as a band at all. The Dirty Hooks are clean, well rehearsed, possessed with an ability to write really good tracks and deliver them in a fashion which I think made me stop in my tracks when I listened first. Naked City Colt opens with the simplest vocal line which reels you in gently, the entire first two verses are either vocals or vocals and high hats, then it just explodes into a cacophony of pure bliss. You can feel the dust beneath the feet unsettle as they run. I listened over and over and over and over again to see if I could find a fault and I couldn’t no guitar solo goes on too long, nothing is too high or too low in the mix, everything has its precise place, everything. Simple vocal line, high energy melody simply and effectively delivered. Wow what an absolute breath of fresh air. Cicada Tree is a reflection of why the band chose the name they did. It is riddled with Dirty Hooks, catchy lyrics and a fantastically placed back beat. Again everything is right, The Dirty Hooks have found a sound and style and deliver it so well it’s scary, there are so many bands could do well to sit down and listen to how tracks should be produced, this simple formula has been displayed by great bands over the decades and it never fails, loud, quiet, loud will do it for me over and over again Moonshine Hustle is a bit of a change of direction in the sense that it very cleverly starts with both the guitar and Jenine Cali (Drummer/Backing Vocals) mimicking the same melody line, very simple, very effective, Jenine comes into her own here and adds a vocal line to the song which essentially makes the song hers. The rest of the debut album is just as good. The song craft is amazing, there is nothing complicated in any of the tracks on the album and that is what makes it so bloody good. This is one of those collections that should be handed out in the first class of ‘Starting a band 101’ What The Dirty Hooks have done is taken the age old formula used by The Beatles, The Pixies, The Ramones, Elvis, Bowie, Rage Against The Machine and made it their own. You can hear so many different influences going on here but none of them are being ripped, they are being absorbed and used to create an absolutely amazing collection and a sound which I hope will be developed over the next few years. Verdict 6/6
Cat Dowling The Believer By Shane Buckley
Right, right, right. I cracked my knuckles to initiate the reviewing process, opened the blank page, my favourite moment of the day, I’m not gonna lie I also cracked a beer because the sun outside my attic window was beaming through and causing cotton-mouth, and then I hit play on the sound cloud artist I've been chosen to review. Cat Dowling, was her name, and her debut album is titled The Believer. Track one; the believer. It kicked in and I took notes. Immediately I contacted Halpin the chief Apache and told him that “Cat Dowling is f*****g amazing, and that this review is now going to be a biased one.” It was just so good. I took notes on the instrumentation, on the fluidity in her voice, the enchanting subjectivity of her tone, on the attention to detail regarding the arrangements, even the sneer beat on track one (the believer) was a point of interest, because it didn't remain on each bar, it went away every so often, and then it would come back and then there I was, bopping my everything. The album has eleven tracks. If you press play on any of the eleven tunes you’re going to be taken into a wonderland of peace the second you hear that sonic float up through your speakers. The Well Runs Dry, this is track five on sound cloud, and this one stops me in my tracks. That piano, that piano, that piano, I felt like I was tripping. And then Cat’s voice with her passionate and emotional vocal performance, you can just see this song being featured in any romantic, tragic, gripping film scene. If there was ever a song I was to play in the background as I prepare to propose to a future lady, that track would be the one. I told you this would be biased. As soon as I was done listening, I had to drag myself up from the seat and up from my temporary state of paralysis that Cat had caused, I wanted to more about the woman behind this musical serenity that protruded through my inadequate laptop speakers. I found out I was reviewing somewhat of an already discovered musical gem. Cat has been featured on major US shows like CSI Miami, The Gate, and MTV LA. The Irish
Times have already done a piece on her. MRU magazine represent the best. Then I voluntarily contacted her. Told her I loved the album and asked her for a few words regarding her views on the current music scene and on the music industry. “Hmmm that's a good question. For me it’s really inspiring to be part of this current music scene. There is so much good music coming out of this country at the moment, the talent is quite incredible. I love the fact that I'm putting out an album right now. The internet has made it into an open playing field. Nobody can really know where their music is going to take them but there is something incredibly freeing in that. For me that's the key to good art and music, do something you're really proud of and that's exciting and true to you and something you'd want to listen to yourself. The rest is entirely out of your control. Now is the time to take risks and that can only be a good thing. The music industry is probably like any other industry - simply put; it’s an industry. The goal of industry is to make profit.” Italic words of truth and honesty. She then went on to say, “It’s easier to release music and to get music out without the aid of record companies in the current music industry/scene - that is a good thing. What's not so good is that the world has much less regard for the value of music. It has become viewed as something that needs to be
free and not to be paid for. That's not a particularly positive thing. It's all changing so fast though - it remains to be seen where it's going next.” Like anybody I ask, Cat has pretty much the same view as them all, although her articulation of her point was very elegant for an off the cuff response, but the words ring the same number. And for bands and solo musicians starting out, it remains to be seen if they will even have a chance of recognition unless they sound like the generic BS clogging every drain and every portal and anything that holds anything. With shared opinions like the above, hopefully the levy will break on pop and up from the temporary ashes will rise more and more artists like Cat Dowling possessing soul and passion and encouragement for the troubled youth of the nation. But Cat’s recognition is on the up and up. And ascend further she will. Her album blew my mind. And it’s a debut, too. THE BELIEVER will be released this month the 10th of May. I said it before, being a writer, I need comforting and tranquil music to surround me while I write, and Cat Dowling’s The Believer has just given me another option for serenading purposes. Much appreciated. Verdict 6/6 www.facebook.com/catdowlingmusic1 www.musicreviewunsigned.com
RTE In Colour and MRU feature:
Candice Gordon By Laura Mullett
MRU Magazine in association with ‘In Colour’ on RTE 2XM have teamed up to showcase homegrown talent through a weekly radio and magazine segment. I am appearing on the radio show every week to review an upcoming unsigned Irish band on air and also select a track from their EP to play on the show. I am looking for bands and solo artists that have that have an “edge” to feature on ‘In Colour’ on RTE 2xm – and the ones that make the cut will not only be featured on air on the Monday but will have a feature written by me about them in MRU Magazine the same week. MRU Magazine
venture to bring you the best news and reviews of what the scene has to offer and the crème de la crème makes the slot. It is getting tougher to select acts as the response has been massive but a stand out for me that I chose to review was the mysterious and sensual performer Candice Gordon. I listened to Candice Gordon’s debut six track mini album ‘Before the Sunset Ends’ – It was released earlier in the week on May 6th. With the title track ’Before the Sunset Ends’ from her debut EP, Gordon sets the tone. Her voice has a raw sex appeal and she sounds like something off the soundtrack of Django
Unchained or the Kill Bill Trilogy. Candice Gordon has a signature sound that is ultimately unique and there is a tenacity in her voice that conveys her explorative nature. Candice Gordon’s voice gives you that ‘halloween feeling’. The EP was produced by music legend – The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan. This fact really intrigued me. Inevitably a fusion of two very different sounds and influences but that really formed something great. With the video for the title track, the song is visualized as a southern gothic fable in a style that highlights the song’s dark fairy tale nature, drawing as
much from Hans Christian Andersen as it does from Jim Jarmusch. The inspiration behind the surreal video is the tale of Faust featuring the prominent figure of the devil in folk lore. All the songs stem from folklore. On the subject of working with Shane Mc Gowan Gordon divulges: “I met Shane when I was juggling one night and we became friends. Then he heard my music and it sort of just happened all of a sudden. He has great musical ideas. He is not afraid of anything which is why he is so creative…” It seems the artist herself is bold and daring
in her own right. The debut EP features Gordon’s seductive vocals underpinned with a swelling horn section. Candice is currently based in Berlin and is somewhat of a nomad. During her recent mini promotional tour in Ireland she performed in hotspots in Galway, Dublin and Limerick. In the past Gordon has travelled from Botswana to Dublin, busking through Asia and travelling with a circus in Croatia and Turkey. I think her voice has an underlying wisdom beyond her years. I really enjoyed her EP and I look forward to seeing her perform live. Her voice is so whispering and husky that I can imagine the intimacy of
her playing a smaller venue to be sublime. The EP consists of 6 tracks: ‘Before The Sunset Ends’, ‘I See A Demon‘, ‘Fairytale of Love and Betrayal‘, ‘God, The Devil, and Me’, ‘Sound Of Horns’ and ‘In My Garden’. The track on the EP that I feel is a standout is ‘I see a demon’. Make sure to check it out. You can buy her six track mini album ‘Before the Sunset Ends’ over on itunes. If you want to feature in MRU Magazine or on ‘In colour’ on RTE 2xm email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org You can tweet me on www.twitter.com/lauramullett www.musicreviewunsigned.com
Irish Hip Hop ::: Mary Jane By Kirsty Ryan
Sending this one out to all you HipHop heads what’s happening!!!
Considering this album consists of numerous songs whereby the media is slated for ‘spreading their lies’, then maybe an aspiring Journalist isn’t exactly an ideal person to be reviewing this album right? Wrong! I couldn’t agree more with their criticism against the media as a lot of the time their information is either inaccurate or misleading. Their main priority is to get their story out there first, making sure its newsworthy with no consideration towards those whom it may affect. As a Journalist, my aim is to tell nothing but the truth so I am going to be brutally honest here……. In relation to Irish Hip-Hop, I would not have as much knowledge on it as I do if it wasn’t for my brother, and regarding this amazing album, I never actually listened to it in detail until the night of the launch in the Twisted Pepper last week. It was there that I became so captivated and hypnotised by the power of their lyrics, the flow of their rhymes and the realism which came with each song, that I knew I had to go home, chill out, and REALLY listen in depth to each song which resulted in me wanting to produce this review. When I say ‘their’, I’m talking about the ever so popular MC’s from Blanchardstown and Finglas, the members of WorkinClassRecords with it’s growing fan base and performers who are dedicated to ‘keeping it real’ for the fans – Costello and G.I. The name Mary Jane was chosen by the lads in dedication and to honour the important women in their lives – their mothers. You will understand just how much this woman means to Costello when you listen to track number 16. I was actually told to listen to this one first but I held out until the end and I’m glad I did as it turned out to be one of my favourite’s, which I talk about in more detail below. It is also an album which focuses on real life circumstances that many people can relate to plus the mention of the corrupt Government on many occasions makes you really appreciate and understand what they’re saying.
The album consists of 18 tracks with Willa Lee and the amazing Yasmin Russel covering vocals and features impressive verses from ‘Fly’, ’4Real’, ‘D.C.R’, ‘Cal’ and ‘Mic P’. Of course credit has to be given to DJ Moschops for spinning out the beats on the night! Oh and for their manager Dean Scurry who said I ‘wasn’t allowed to go in with a smile on my face and have a good time’ I swear I didn’t! Muwahaha ;).
Yet again G.I stays on top of his game by producing what I’d describe as, incredible, gritty, old school beats! From the moment I hit play on that first tune, ‘Ghostwritten‘, my head automatically moved to the beat, even more so at the gig with the volume and bass of the kicks powerfully coming up through the floor that you couldn’t help but nod your head. I have yet to familiarise myself with the names that accompany each beat, so unfortunately that means I can’t go into much detail on this album, which also means that you will have to give the album a listen yourself to know what I’m talking about. G.I is also one of the lucky MC’s who can spit a rhyme at any given time and he proved this on the night by treating fellow hip-hop goers to one of his impressive freestyles. As I stated at the beginning I want to be honest here, so I am going to continue to do so by admitting that sometimes I can’t understand what G.I is saying but that’s only
because I’m still kind of new to these types of gigs and this genre of Hip-Hop. Either that or I’m just a slow adjuster. He amazes me at how quick he raps during each of his featured tracks and how steady his flow is. I know if I spoke that fast I’d be stumbling over every second word! The young MC came across as an intense and dark performer at the launch and throughout the album, getting lost in the beat and flow of his words – which is a good thing. It just proved how seriously he takes his job, how committed he is to producing quality beats and rhymes, and how deeply he believes in what he is saying. You can tell he’s an MC with plenty of room to progress and develop his skills. I believe he will have big names asking for his beats one day as we have yet to see the high standards he is capable of reaching.
Costello has become one of the lads from WorkinClass that I personally enjoy listening to. I witnessed a small performance from him back in 2012 at the launch of LD’s album, so I was glad to hear more from him this time round. Costello (James) comes across as somewhat spiritual, with the mention of God and spiritual growth throughout many of the tracks on Mary Jane, while also referring to Hip-Hop as being the new religion. He speaks of his passion of Hip-Hip and how he believes music is his guidance, with
‘beats and rhymes‘ being his ’choice of weaponry’. A lot of the tracks featured on this album consist of how much the world is corrupt and how the government only looks after number one (themselves), stating that their ‘agenda is to be ruling us all’. This comes across as no surprise considering the economic climate we’re in at the moment. Something I don’t want to go into great detail about as I could ramble on about it for ages! Costello is very wise in that he portrays wisdom in his tracks when he encourages people to ‘keep believing and reaching’ and talks about having positive influences in your life. It seems to me that he is a very down to earth and well grounded MC, who genuinely means it when he says ‘keep it real’ to the fans. It is important for any performer to send out the ‘right’ message to their audience and so far Costello has done just that, particularly when it comes to this album in general. His rhymes express how determined and focused he is to get to where he wants to be and also shows us that he won’t be fooled or brainwashed by anyone as he tells us to ‘never trust in what society promises us’. In this album he’s all about – chasing your dreams, watching out for the snakes, making a change, escaping this corrupt world and Government and believing in yourself. All the above makes him a perfect example and role model to those who feel like they’re stuck in a rut. He should be the one I’m not fond of as it is he who goes on about the lies of the media which is the area I wish to have a profession in but I can’t criticise someone for speaking the truth and sharing it with others. “Realise you’re being hypnotised by the lies on news bulletins’.
My Favourite track
Mary : Well well well, what can I say? For many reasons this has to be my
favourite number from a list of impressive tracks on the Mary Jane album. Mary was a song dedicated to Costello’s mother as sadly she passed away a few years back. As I was writing my review, I had to stop half way through this song because yes, it did pull at my heart strings. That plus the beat accompanied by it went great together, complimenting each other perfectly. I didn’t know the circumstances surrounding Costello’s mother but after hearing this track (on repeat), even though I didn’t know the lady, I’m sure he did her proud. He speaks very fondly of her in a beautiful poignant way that’s sure to grab any ones attention. As a lot of us do, he described his mother as ‘the greatest woman that was ever on this earth hands down’, we all have our own reasons for saying this and he expressed his in a moving tribute. He talks of how she ‘worked wonders’, ’provided‘ and ‘put them first‘ and described her as an ‘independent woman‘ who ‘stood on her own two feet’. What I admire about Costello in this song, is that he really opened up and allowed others in to grasp a little of how he is feeling, although I will respect that only someone in the same position as him could truly understand the emotions he went through. The fact that Costello received a call from G.I about his rhymes shortly after his mothers death is comforting to those in that position in knowing that, if you have lost a loved one, they’re still looking down and guiding you through life. ‘The week you passed on, I got a message from Git saying he heard about me spitting,he was impressed with me shit’. What really got me and made me cry a little inside was this one line ‘To reunite I’d gladly walk on to the ends of the earth’. It’s obvious she was a huge influence in Costello’s life and hopefully things can only get better from here. ‘Wanna congratulate you on a job well done’.
Yes we would also like to congratulate you because you have provided us with a talented, inspirational MC who has yet to reach the heights he dreams of.
‘Run up on the Pope and stitch him a loaf’ (Haha) gets me every time!
If you want to familiarise yourself with some of the harsh realities we have to face today, the corruption of our Government, or just want to be influenced and listen to inspirational tracks then this is an album not to be missed. Or for a lot of you chilling out or having a few alcoholic beverages, these two lads deliver the perfect album to get you into the zone! There’s a lot of people out there who are ignorant to Irish Hip-Hop, if you’re one of those and you’ve read this review so far, then I’m guessing your obviously somewhat interested. You have to feel the beats and get lost in the rhymes like I did to truly understand what I’m (trying) to say. Just because they’re not your typical American or UK based rappers, does not mean that they don’t share the same passion for Hip-Hop, if not more. The problem nowadays is that the music scene is becoming more commercialised, particularly Hip-Hop. If someone feels they can’t dance to a track, they tend not to be interested or automatically switch it off. People need to start appreciating music again and that also goes for me, it’s all about the lyrics, the raw talent and been able to relate to it which this album delivers without a doubt. Well done lads, I look forward to the next album/gig whether it be together or individually. All the best and good luck with future projects. www.gicostello.bandcamp.com/album/maryjane
New Lake Wisdom Teeth Demo
The Frescaders Self Titled
Drawing on the sounds of Young the Giant, Foals and Foo Fighters, New Lake’s new track ‘Wisdom Teeth’ has all the hallmarks of an atmospheric ‘wail-till-you-loose-your-voice’ indie anthem. The predominant drum groove, which leans towards the heavier side of the band’s sound, drives the track forward, underpinning the minimal guitar well. The sparse guitar in the first half of the track gives the song a wonderfully simplistic tone, which leaves a lot of room for Sean Walker’s frankly fantastic vocal performance. The track exudes confidence, a trait which is quite remarkable considering this is the band’s first song to be released online. For a ‘Rough Demo’, the production of the track is in fact very good. The reverb ridden intro seems reminiscent of Echo and the Bunnymen whilst the punchy drum sounds hark the tones of the bands heavier influences. Sean, vocalist and Guitarist, explains to me how each member tends to take something to the table, with regard to influences. It is evident in the guitar and percussion contrast. ‘Wisdom Teeth’ is a very promising track from the group. I was willing it to break down into a long, atmospheric jam at the close (ala Peace’s ‘1998’), but maybe this is something we will see in future tracks from the group, who are currently working towards an EP launch in the coming months. The track is available for download via their soundcloud www.soundcloud.com/new-lake
Playing a brand of indie-rock that borrows heavily from both The Libertines and The Arctic Monkeys; The Frescaders are a band with a bright future. Barely out of their teens, they’ve already made waves in local music circles by winning The SkyHigh Radio’s Unsigned Act of 2012. Looking to build on this momentum, the band has just released their second E.P. Album opener ‘Stop Bending Me Backwards’ begins with a simple but mesmerising riff that brings to mind Another Girl Another Plant by The Only Ones. The early promise is short-lived though as the song quickly loses focus. The verse and chorus are a little formulaic, sounding more like the much maligned Fratellis than anything else. All is not lost; there are still some quality moments on this track especially when the band ups the tempo. There’s a real good track lurking around the bones of this one, all it needs is a little work. ‘Sally-Anne’ is a blistering shot of adrenaline. A ramshackle punk number that pretty much pilfers every aspect of The Libertines back catalogue. The vocals owe more than a passing resemblance to Carl Barat while the guitar and rhythm section could be from any song off Up The Bracket. Despite the unoriginality it’s a belter of a track. 3 minutes of fast, loose and fun punk rock. The band takes the pace down a few notches on ‘The Airport’. It doesn’t work for them at all; the track sounds laboured, with the crude production doing no favours at all. Lyrically, it’s not much better, this one feeling like a misguided attempt at poignancy. ‘The Lights Are Given As A Medal To Shine On You’ picks things up again. Another Libertines-esque blitzkrieg; this one is fast and furious. The band sound so much better playing at a faster tempo. The pace is slowed down for the chorus which with its catchy hook sounds like the chorus on Cornerstone by The Arctic Monkeys. Stretching out to a full 5 minutes the track is a tad long; the extended instrumental that plays it out is definitely dispensable. Having only formed 18 months ago it’s still early days in the career of The Frescaders. They are by no means a finished article but this E.P shows plenty of promise. In ‘Sally-Ann’ they have already written an excellent indie song. They have a sound that the NME adore as well. Herewith lies the problem though, the sound isn’t theirs. At times they sound like a Arctic Monkeys/Libertines tribute act. While wearing your influences on your sleeve is no sin, The Frescaders are pushing it. Just look at the amount of Libertines/Arctic Monkeys imitators that vanished as quickly as they arrived and you get an idea of why you need to distinguish yourself. The Frescaders are still very young though and with time they will broaden their influences and grow into their own sound. For now they are a band with plenty of potential stifled somewhat by their generic sound. www.facebook.com/thefrescaders
By Fabio Thomas
By Cian Walsh
Jimi Hendrix ::: People, Hell & Angels By Jon Birch
‘Who is the greatest guitarist ever’, is a question that will rumble on and on and will, quite rightly, never have a definitive answer. I would argue though that if not the greatest, Jimi Hendrix is without doubt the most important guitarist in rock and roll history. Hendrix not only challenged the perception and limits of guitar music, but he also developed his own signature style and sound. Over 40 years since his death, it’s one that still influences guitarists to this day. The announcement that an album of previously unreleased material from Jimi Hendrix was to be released, split opinion among critics and fans. From a cynical view point, it looks like a shameless cash in. If the material was any good, why has it been locked away for nearly half a century? On the other hand, Hendrix is one of the greats and if he had something more to say, it needs to be heard. I had mixed feelings before the release but, having heard ‘People, Hell & Angels’, I can firmly say I’m off the fence. Is it as good and as instant as the classic Hendrix tracks? No.
Is there much here that would trouble a greatest hits album? Not a huge amount. Is it an absolute pleasure to hear more from one of the most influential musicians in rock and roll history? Without a doubt. The album opener ‘Earth Blues’ starts with a quick, ascending riff which seamlessly blends into a laid back, funky ‘Crosstown Traffic’ style rhythm. That distinctive voice comes in soon after and it brings a shiver down your spine to hear Jimi doing his thing once again. There are tantalising glimpses of what might have been had things gone differently that fateful, final night in Notting Hill in 1970. ‘Let Me Move You’ is a full on funk track and see’s Jimi rocking a James Brown style vibe, complete with guttural shrieks and grunts. ‘Mojo Man’ is another highlight and showcases his skills as a bluesman, albeit with that trademark Hendrix panache. You can also clearly hear the influence he left on others. Hearing ‘Inside Out’, the riff is instantly familiar. It turns out Jimi did ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ years before Lenny
Kravitz started out, ironically, on a career that owes more to Hendrix than anyone else. This isn’t an album for casual listeners and if you’re new to Hendrix then it’s probably best to go for a Greatest Hits compilation. However, if your familiar with Hendrix’s back catalogue or you’re a true music fan, this is for you. Throughout this record the guitar playing is never short of exquisite. With Hendrix, it’s often those notes played in between the lick that make a piece of music so unique and there are so many examples here. Jimi Hendrix is such a huge figure in the history of Rock and Roll and his influence is so widely felt, it’s easy to forget he left us aged just 27. Listen to the intricacies of his playing and the masterful skill he displays over his instrument and it’s frightening to imagine just how good he might have become. Had fate taken a different turn that night, the question of the greatest of all time wouldn’t even be up for dispute. www.jimihendrix.com
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