Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Music, Art & Culture Magazine Issue#2
Issue #2 Featured Artist
Black Svan We caught up with Jagger Murray and asked a few questions about Black Svan... turn to page 20.......
Kingston The Dyatonics Music:
Colm takes a look at 3 of the latest trending movies
Collie Femmepop + More! Ascending Dawn Red Sail Superstar Tradesmen A Jokerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rage
Staff Writers Issue#2 Stacy Walsh James Lindsey Colm Quinn Justin Ryan Eimear Ennis Graham David Simpson
Pure M links
Twitter - @puremzine Facebook - PureMofficial Contact - email@example.com
1 Last Lynx — Get Up 2 CarolineEngland — Pretend 3 Andrew Mann And Mantra — What A Way To Die 4 Stephen Roddy — The Life And Death Of Terminus Abruptus 5 The Black Overtones — Nitelife 6 Mind Funk — Let’s Go! 7 Laura Marie (USA) — Everyone Gets Lonely 8 Tiny Vinyls — Nothing 9 odibal — Together 10 IAMMAMMAL — Never Have Enough
Do you think the Irish Government should legalise cannabis for recreational use?
Evan Byrne: Yes legalise, it's 100% safer than beer an we can drink as much as we like but can't have a joint, people will smoke it anyway so legalise and let people have good clean herb Jagger Murray: Yeah I think once it's controlled it would be ok but I'd go the Holland way. Let people smoke it lower crime rate, lower arrest and help build the economy. If people want to smoke let them. plus it would boost tourism in Ireland. Philip Keaveney: As long as it's controlled like Uruguay. They have legalised it, but citizens get a maximum amount, and once they go over that amount, they are sent for drug rehabilitation. We have enough addicts here as it is
Interview by Stacy Walsh
ingston are a six piece indie/brass band from Kilkenny. The young band already have an EP under their belt and an array of gigs and festival appearances, including this year’s Electric Picnic, which saw the lads headline the new and improved Trailer Park Stage, blowing the place away with their high energy, brass heavy performance. The band have earned a lot of respect in Kilkenny and with a new EP on the way, it’s time for the Kingston love buzz to spread around the country. Kingston are: Stephen O’Connor – Vocals/Guitar Shane Colfer – Guitar Jamie Kerr – Bass Joey Harris – Drums Henry McKeever – Saxophone Roman Hartmann - Trumpet
I sat down with Steve, Shane and Joey in The Set Theatre Kilkenny for a Q&A session and chatted with them about their journey so far, their future plans and how they’d like to collaborate with Kanye and RSAG.
So how did the band form? I remember seeing ye a couple of years ago as Coin and ye did mostly cover songs. Why the name change and how did the name Kingston come about?
We started off with four of us in the band - bass, two guitars and drums. We had no brass or anything. We got together to play the Wesley Competition. We played a lot of covers as Coin, big 15 song cover sets. It was good fun but we did it for a long time, about two years. At the very start we didn’t have much gigs, I think we had around two gigs a year. To be honest, we just enjoyed practicing. When we have a gig coming up we practice for around 8 hours straight. Summer 2013 we changed the band name. We wanted to move on from just doing cover songs as Coin and develop our sound. We spent the whole summer writing songs. Also, we all hated the name Coin. We had a big list of about 20 names and passed it around and crossed off names we didn’t like. When we picked Kingston I don’t think a lot of us copped it was the capital of Jamaica – people are always saying to us “do ye play reggae?”
You seemed to change a lot, the biggest change being the introduction of a brass section. How did the idea of the brass section come along?
We didn’t have Henry (Saxophone) and Roman (Trumpet) fulltime at the start. It was like one of those things where we’d be like “this song would actually be really cool if we had brass in it”. We were friends with Henry and Roman and they played instruments we didn’t have in the band so we said why not have them play with us. The brass section came in when we were writing our first original song ‘Keep Yourself’. It was for the Wesley Competition. It took us a year to write the next song. Then we bashed out three songs over the summer.
How do you go about your writing process?
(Joey) Steve had a load of ideas saved on the computer so Shane and I went over during the summer of 2013 and spent the whole summer trying to put all the ideas together. (Steve) For ‘Louis’ and ‘Keep Yourself’, I remember writing the brass parts, taking it to school with me, then we’d practice in my house. We wrote more songs back then that we didn’t use on the EP and we’ve actually been working on them now in the last few months. One thing that’s really important to us when we’re making up our music is the brass isn’t a backing thing, we use it as our main instrument. The brass section usually gets to play the main riffs.
So Kingston’s first EP came out in December of last year. Where did you record the EP and how long did it take? Did you enjoy the recording process?
Yeah the EP came out last December, we didn’t actually have a release date for it. We had great fun recording it. It was a quick process, it took two weeks. It was quick because we had all the songs practiced for gigs so we were ready to go. We recorded the album at Steve’s house, with Steve doing
there. I was shocked with the size of the crowd that was there. (Shane) I was delighted because we got to play the headline slot at 11:30pm, which doesn’t really happen too much for new young bands. (Steve) When we started playing together, we always talked about how cool it would be to play the Picnic.
Where’s your favourite place to play in Kilkenny?
The Set is probably our favourite place. We played here a few weeks ago with RSAG and it was really cool. The gig sounded so nice. We really like playing in Ryans too. Cleeres was nice to play as well. It’s one of the coolest pubs with a stage.
You mentioned that you have been working on some new songs – What are Kingston’s future plans?
We’re doing another five songs now and we’re going to start applying for as many summer festivals as we can. We want to record the next EP in a studio this time so we’re looking in to that. We’re hoping to have a launch night for the EP.
What bands do you consider to be Kingston’s biggest influences?
It’s difficult to pick between the bands we like and the bands that actually influence us. The Specials, Madness, Blur and Radiohead would be some of our main influences. We’ve done some Specials and Madness covers. We’d consider The Beatles to be one of our influences too. We all have really different music tastes. (Steve) I remember trying to write the parts of ‘Keep Yourself’ and at the time I was listening to a lot of The Dandy Warhols and Dire Straits, who I don’t really listen to. Somehow those bands influenced that song but I wouldn’t count them as an influence normally. (Joey) We all subtly bring different genres to the table. (Shane) There’s huge polar opposites in our music taste. Take Henry, he can be heavy into noise rock and some of us are into the real right, down on the beat stuff.
most of the engineering, then we sent the tracks to Pendle Poucher of Knitted Cat Records in England. Pendal is a good friend of Joey’s dad and he mixed and mastered the EP.
Did you have any creative input into the EP cover?
We decided we wanted to keep it simple, with brown card, so we went and bought all of that. I had a picture of our friend, an indifferent photo we were using for the band. I did the handwriting on the computer over the photo and it looked kind of cool, so we decided the EP would look good with that picture and some brown card. We made a lino stamp and an ink pad. On the spine of the EP I had to write Kingston and there was so many spelt wrong. I’d say we lost about ten EP covers in the process.
You’ve played a lot of different gigs now since you have started. Which gig do you feel has been the stand out gig? I absolutely loved the Electric Picnic gig, there was quite the crowd at it.
(Joey) Electric Picnic was probably our biggest gig. The whole experience of it all was really fun. It felt great to be able to play
Do you have plans to experiment with the sound you have or would you like to move it in a different direction?
We think the songs for the new EP are a lot different so our sound is developing. It’s a little less party music. It’s a bit more mellowed but also a bit heavier, there’s some heavy guitar in there. We wanted to change it up a lot from the first EP. We’re going to try and go for a really live-ish sound. If you could collaborate with any band or artist in the world – who would you chose?
(Joey) Justin Vernon. Kanye. That’d be interesting. (Steve) I think I can say that we all really like RSAG, the latest record sounds great. I really think his stuff is unique and it sounds great live. That would be cool to collaborate with him.
Kingston’s next gig is Friday, January 2nd in Ryans Kilkenny. Kingston are definitely a band to watch, big things lie ahead for these lads. Their current EP is available to download at http://kingston1.bandcamp.com/
Exclusive Live Review
The Dyatonics Live Review The Workmans Club Dublin Review by T.Halpin
Dublin band The Dyatonics released their highly anticipated second EP on Monday November 10, at The Workmans Club. Support on the night came from Days in August and Bridge Rails. I arrived at the venue soaking wet from our beautiful Irish weather, it was early, around 7.30pm. Chatting away to two reps inside the door from the Dublin pub crawl they were telling me. “On weekends we deal with over two hundred people and tonight we only have seven people on the books.” This got me thinking, is going to be one of them gigs? Five people, great music and nobody to share in the musical magic? I got a nice cosey spot near the fire at the bar, trying to dry off my wet clothes and noticed the venue was starting to get a bit busy and the build up to the gig was looking pretty exciting. The turnout was actually massive on the night, even the doorman told me they had to recruit in staff to cover the gig, he thought this was unusual for a Monday night. I found myself a nice spot at the back of the room, right next to the sound engineer and probably the best seat in the house too. The lights dimmed and The Dyatonics exploded into to sound, they got a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the audience. At this moment, all I could see was a flock of bouncing heads up at the front of the crowd, complete hysteria and madness from their fans. It’s great seeing a crowd reaction like this and the band was feeding off their buzz all the way. Their energy on stage was intense, explosive and what you should expect from a decent live act. The Dyatonics certainly brought that high entertaining energy onto the stage and gave one hell of a show on the night. There was even fun moments when the drummer, somehow managed to get off his drums and come out from behind his skins and take a selfie and then sit back down, and still continued the song in perfect sync. I’m not sure if it was well rehearsed, but I did chat to him after the gig and he told me he forgot to save the photo, that made even funnier. So it was a selfie fail. You might be asking, so what do they sound like? good question, well as a band they all differ in musical influences, as a live band you can hear this in many of their songs. In parts I was hearing Arctic Monkeys when kicked into their track “Slurr” and with the live energy of Biffy Clyro. Even hints of Chili Peppers with some of their more funky songs like “She Wants”. It is difficult to pin a genre onto a group of lads that sounds so well together. I think they’re just an all round good entertaining, high energetic rock band, and they proven that to me on the night of their EP launch gig. However for a young upcoming five piece band from Dublin, with a few tweaks here and there, The Dyatonics have most of the ingredients to go on and become a huge success. It is only their second EP and the group is fresh on the scene since 2012. As a band in the process and making, I can clearly see they are growing in strength and also gel well together on stage. For me I think the Irish live scene needs more bands like The Dyatonics. Catching a live set from this band is a must for anybody who loves live energetic bands or even better grab a copy of their latest EP.
Pure M Chats to The Dyatonics in The Green Room "No money no mates, just play music" Was the a summarising of the birth of The Dyatonics band and when they started up in 2012, they were not even 18, just a young bunch of lads got together to make music. "We didn't even own any of our instruments starting off." The band also described the difficulty of getting gigs, " You can get gigs like Pleasing Features at the Workmans club and Sin E bar, you can get yourself in those gigs pretty handy. They will give you a half hour set, which is good. But being asked by venues for you to play, it's a rare occurrence." We asked the band why did they decide to have their EP launch on a Monday night in The Workmans and not launch in the likes of Whelans. "We just like the venue and when we were emailing around to find one, they just seemed really friendly. They listened to everything we had to say and answered any questions we asked, also it is handy for our fans to get to as most of them come from the southside of Dublin." They played Vantasival in 2014, although they explained it was a modest gig in a tent not affiliated with the festival, I asked them what is the plans for 2015 regarding festivals and gigs. "Hopefully, we can get Knockanstockan, best case scenario for us would be Electric picnic... (they all laughed)" The band runs the whole show themselves, no PR or management team behind them, this can take its toll after a while. especially when it's left up to one guy as is the case with The Dyatonics. "It's all a learning experience, when we put on a gig we learn from it. Like, it means so much more when it's just us putting on the shows." Radio play is always a big issue with upcoming bands and very important too if they can get some, however in Ireland it is not easy to get airplay on mainstream radio. I asked, did they find it difficult getting their music on the radio. " Totally Irish on 98fm played our music, TXFM in the UK gave us some airtime and hopefully after tonights launch we will get a bit more radio time." Who would be their peers in music or what Dublin band would they look up to? They explained, "Wounds, not a band we would find influences in but just look up to would be Wounds. They're nothing like what we sound. Another Dublin band we like is Radio Room and. (Someone whispered The Script and everyone laughed). Slurr from their new EP is going to be released as a video, they referred to the track as the "A side" off their EP, "It's gonna be pretty funky and we are really excited for its release." The new video Slurr is being recorded in Galway on December 19, keep your ears and eyes open for the release.
Artwork by Jackie Hudson Lalor Reared on a diet of lies & fairytales
Artwork by Ruth Egan Sheep
Citizenfour, the film about Edward Snowden Movie Review
Review by Colm Quinn
n Citizenfour you see Edward Snowden put a blanket over his head while typing in a password. He checks is a phone plugged out when he hears a fire alarm being tested saying how any modern phone can be turned into a listening device. But he is not a paranoid young man reading sensationalist articles on the internet. He was part of the NSA’s system that does the spying. The film is the third part of Laura Poitras’ trilogy into American power’s choices post-9/11 and is undercut with a score straight out of a science-fiction dystopia. The film explains how there are 1.2million people on US government watch lists. How they can listen in to practically any communications in the world. It even shows the files they have on Poitras. The bulk of the film is about Snowden in the days before, during and after his leaks. We get the most detailed insight into the days he spent in a Hong Kong hotel room with Poitras and other journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewan MacAskil handing over the NSA files. In her previous two films, Poitras is rarely seen and you don’t see much of her in this either. While this was ideal in those films I would’ve liked to have seen more of her this time around. Her other films followed other people and their stories but she was big part of this story. It’s not her style to stand in the limelight, but it would have been good to hear what happened to her after the story broke and her thoughts on it. Instead she focuses on Snowden and Greenwald. She does well to give the film an ominous feeling without being sensationalist. Towards the end there is a night time shot looking in Snowden’s window as he cooks dinner with his girlfriend. It looks like it is an assassin staring in at them. It’s a film that’ll be watched by people in years to come when they want to know what happened during those days. You won’t be in a good mood afterwards but it’s a gripping watch. Citizenfour is now showing in the Irish Film Institute and Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin. It opens in the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork on December 7 and Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast on December 13.
Tommy Lee Jones’ Western The Homesman Movie Review
Review by Colm Quinn
ommy Lee Jones returns to the director’s chair with this western set in 19th century Nebraska called The Homesman. He also shares the lead acting role with Hilary Swank. The film runs for about two hours and at times, especially during the second half of the film, it feels like they’re just throwing in scenes to fill to minutes. And a lot of those scenes seem pointless. They don’t come from anywhere and they don’t lead onto anything. Swank plays Mary Bee Cutty, a woman tasked with transporting three mentally ill women from the wilderness of Nebraska back east to where they can be looked after better. At first she is set to go on her own but then she comes across George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) sitting on top his horse underneath a tree with a noose around his neck. The horse not running off being the only thing keeping him alive. In exchange for setting him free, he agrees to go with Swank. The setting, out on wide open plains is gorgeous to look at and the cinematography and set design are also brilliant. It’s an absolutely beautiful film to enjoy visually but unfortunately not in many other ways. It’s been called misogynistic but also feministic and I’m not sure what one of those it is. It’s supposed to show struggle and tries to show trauma but these scenes slide into melodrama far too often. During the second half it borders on farcical. It feels like they’re just flinging disturbing scenes at you one by one in the hope that one of them will shock some emotion out of you. It’s been praised by a lot of other people so maybe I’m in the minority and you’ll like it but I can’t recommend it.
James Gandolfini’s Last Film, The Drop Movie Review
Review by Colm Quinn
“At least I had something once. I was respected. I was feared… that meant something,” says the late James Gandofini’s in his last ever role in Michael R. Roskam’s The Drop. He plays Bob Saginowski’s (Tom Hardy) washed up gangster Cousin Marv. Hardy and Gandolfini run a bar together which gets robbed and puts them under pressure from the people who own the bar and knocked Cousin Marv out of the top of organised crime in Brooklyn. The idea that this could be Tony Soprano after The Sopranos ended is of course there and could not be avoided. Not that they should have been. Gandolfini gives a great performance full of bitterness over where he has ended up. It’s great to hear the Sopranoesque lines like, “Let’s just assume I’m not an asshole without a plan.” But this being Gandolfini’s last role is far from the only reason to go see it. This is a proper American crime drama and is better than most. It’s got a plot that’s engaging, thrilling action and few twists to keep you surprised all the way through. The dialogue is sharp – it’s darkly funny and cutting at times. Like when Gandolfini’s sister says she wants to join a show he replies, “You can’t fucking sing.” It’s a film with good acting all around. Hardy’s character is a leading man who doesn’t say much. He comes across as a bit of a bumbling dummy and is actually very likeable. He finds a puppy in Noomi Rapace’s bin. Rapace plays an ex-addict named Nadia and is also portrayed well. Hardy ends up taking the puppy which turns out to belong to her psychopathic ex-boyfriend Eric Deeds played by Matthias Schoenaerts. In a film full of strong performances you couldn’t say Schoenharts steals the show but he is fantastic at playing a nutcase. Interstellar, with its black holes and mixed reviews seems to be taking all the spotlight at the moment and you may have missed The Drop but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Issue #2 Featured Artist
Review by James Lindsay
lack Svan are a Drogheda based Metal Band who have been playing in the metal scene since 2009. They released their latest album ’16 Minutes’ through the French label M&0 on the 20th October this year. The album has 10 tracks and none of them disappoint, with slick production and serious performers behind the wheel! Metal fans certainly seem to appreciate what this impressive five-piece has produced as the group achieved the No. 2 spot on the Irish Metal Charts falling just under Slipknot. So they’re not playing to a deaf audience, well not until after the gigs perhaps… ’16 Minutes’ is an album that has everything I’ve come to expect from a big budget metal band but I don’t think they’re millionaires just yet. The energy is ever-present, with precision rhythm and a solid wall of well-engineered guitars. The album is dynamic and rich in a variety of textures and modes; you won’t be allowed to get bored. The group’s lead vocalist Keith Caffrey is well up to the task with the added dynamic of switching between modes from a haunting Layne Staley to the brute force of Serj Tankian. The lead tracks for me included ‘Retribution’, the big opener which is a joy to explore; ‘16 Minutes’ the title track which is impressively tight, melodic and has epic title-track worthiness to it; and finally the last track which has an accompanying video on YouTube called ‘Sickness’ – The album-closer and rightly so, with its powerful chorus and emotive tone… Must listen! According to their website their influences include Pantera and Alice In Chains, which is evident, but they hold their own sound confidently in the ranks of the world metal scene, for what my opinion is worth. The only thing that could have let this album down was trying too hard, endangering themselves in letting the music exceed their ability but the whole 10 tracks stack up tall and strong showcasing the band’s technical and emotional ability. It all gel’s nicely and has a consistent strength throughout and must have involved some serious graft. I like this album a lot and I don’t even have to pay for it….But you should!
Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/artist/0imY43Gl290MYaYl5pUIUo Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/16-minutes/id912802867
Keith Caffrey: Vocals Jagger Murray: Lead Guitar Mo Clifford: Rhythm Guitar Kenneth Bell: Bass Joey Afonso: Drums
Photo by Chris Lennon
A Couple of Qâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s With Jagger Murray
Does the band all write the songs collectively?
We all write the song's together, however, one of us will start jamming a riff someone might like it then we'll come up with more ideas and put the song together. Keith is excellent at writing lyrics and most of the time will have the lyrics wrote while we are jamming. We'll record the song and go home and listen if everyone is happy with what we have done then we'll start structuring the song more solid and then I'll write a solo to the song one the vocal melody is down. I always try and make the guitar solo complement the song rather that just solo for the sake of putting a guitar solo in the song. We all listen to different types of music and I think that shows in our songwriting. Everyone one of us has different taste in music from Metallica to the Beatles to Pearl Jam to Death. We all add our influences somewhere to try and create our own sound.
What was the inspiration behind your debut album Minutes?
My main inspiration for forming the band with Keith mainly was we both saw a cap in the Irish music scene. There are load's of amazing band's in Ireland, but no one was playing the style of music that we do. We meet up one day and discussed different band's I had some rough demo's of 16 minutes and steal your crown, I gave them to Keith and a week later he had all the lyrics and melodies wrote straight away. The two of us clicked straight away!
How would you describe the Irish metal scene at the moment compared to 2009 since the band first started out?
In 2009 there wasn't really a metal scene in Ireland playing what we play there were amazing metal band's and indie bands but nothing like we where playing which was a nightmare for promoters because they didn't know who to book us with! LOL! But now there are so many great bands's playing in Ireland just waiting to be discovered! It's great to see it happening!
You guys have vast experience touring around Europe, how would you compare the live gigs in the many countries you played in, to Irish gigs?
We were very lucky to be on tour with Rich Ward, that guy has so much experience gigging around the world supporting band's like Metallica', Pantera, Machine Head and Slayer. He saw something in us and was always very supportive to me and Keith. He would watch a show and afterwards would give me and Keith a report on what he thought of the show, what we could have done better etc and it all worked! The crowd's in Europe were always very supportive and willing to go crazy even though the didn't know who we were! For the first song, they might sit back and listen but after the third song they would go crazy. Like gigging in Ireland if we are playing to a new crowd and they don't know us they don't know what to expect but
Photo by Andy Murray
they always get into it. Which is always a plus for us because it helps build our fan base.
After the release of your album 16 Minutes, in your opinion how well do you think it was received well by the media?
I don't think any of us was ever expecting the results and coverage we received. It's very easy to be biased about songs you wrote yourself, you always think yeah this sounds great! But in the back of your mind your always thinking, I really hope everyone else likes this! We went straight to number 2 in the iTunes metal chart's just below Slipknot and number 3 in the Rock charts just below U2 and Slipknot and peaked at number 9 in the overall charts which completely blew us away none of us ever expected it! Our album has been getting amazing reviews from Europe giving our album 4/5 etc and the airplay we are getting is amazing! Our label M&O Music are extremely happy with the coverage we are getting from Rock/Metal shows across the water. I think for myself and Keith it is especially amazing because we never thought any of this would ever happen the first time we discussed the band. Lol!
We are approaching near the end of this year, what has Black Svan got planned for 2015?
In 2015, we plan on making a huge impact on the music scene. We plan on touring Ireland, the UK, Germany and France and to play at good festivals in Europe. In January, we plan on recording a music video for 16 minutes as a single and making another music video later on in the year.
Watch Black Svan Sickness Official Music Video
“There seems to be fewer people putting out shite recordings done on the microphone on their laptop, which tend to make my ears bleed”
The Bitter Truth
We asked Dublin rapper Collie a few questions about the rap scene and the inspiration behind his 4th studio album The Bitter Truth......... What was the Inspiration behind The Bitter Truth?
Well, as far as the title goes, it was a line from the song ‘Fresh’, but I thought it served well as an overall tone for the album. I’m doing this over 10 years at this point, and a lot of the subject matter I have in this release may come across as ‘bitter’ to some, even though I would personally see it as me delivering a few home truths, which in my opinion is fairly evident throughout the album. With my wealth of experience in this genre in this country I can say a lot of things that no-one else can, so I thought it was fitting. Another reason would be I always like to get something in before anyone else has the chance to ha
In your opinion how has the rap scene in Dublin changed over the last 5 years?
Besides myself and 2 or 3 others, it’s completely changed as far as roster is concerned anyway. I think though probably the main difference would be that the quality seems a lot better these days generally speaking. There seems to be fewer people putting out shite recordings done on the microphone on their laptop, which tend to make my ears bleed ha. Besides the actual audio quality though (which I am a complete snob about if I’m being honest), there are more artists who seem to have their shit together as well, the likes of Lethal Dialect (who only reminded me recently he sent me his first song he ever did on MySpace 10 years ago) would be one off the top of me head
Now that your 4th release is out, how do you think it was received by media/bloggers/radio compared to your last 3?
There’s not a huge amount of radio support right now compared to my first single/album, but that owes itself more to the fact that I’m releasing this independently (as per my previous 2). Radioplay is all good and well, but it’s not the main reason I do this. Like, I want to sell albums, but it’s not a particularly high priority
for me really. With the exception of MySpace, social networks barely existed when I first starting releasing music so there’s definitely a big difference there, Twitter seems to have taken the forefront for a lot of people these days. Blogs were similar, and to me they seem to be the more prevalent form of reviews etc nowadays so it’s always good to have their backing, personally speaking it’s probably where I would get most of my information from regarding acts I like myself. The internet has changed the way making music works completely, as in these days you don’t even have to meet someone face-to-face, and although that’s always preferable, it means that there’s less restrictions on collaborating with other artists/producers etc, which is great. For example I saw a band called MuteFish playing in Temple-bar square about 2 weeks ago and thought they were amazing (go check them out if you don’t know them!!), so I hit them up on Facebook and we’re looking at doing something together in the new year hopefully. That’s how easy it is these days (in theory at least), and it really allows for so
Review by T.Halpin ublin rapper Collie released his 4th studio album “The Bitter Truth”, on November 14, to a global audience via iTunes, Spotify, XBox Music and all major digital
much more good music to be made than previous era’s.
What’s 2015 got in store for Collie, any plans on gigs or doing a video?
Well, we’re just planning the next video currently, I love all the songs so much it’s difficult to decide which one will be next, although there’s a fair chance it will be Due In The Ministry, if not that then Lazy Bones as it seems to be one that has been very well received so far, plus any excuse to work with Funzo again. Depending on how the year goes there’s a small chance I may have another album out this time next year, we’ll see how scheduling conflicts with Sammy Souths (the main producer I’m using these days) goes. I’m planning a few shows for after xmas, but we’re still in very early development in that department so watch this space!! I'll be doing a joint headliner with Funzo as my launch night in the Twisted Pepper Friday 18th dec, that's probably worth a mention ha!
outlets. While homegrown rap artists on this little green isle have been flourishing over the last couple of years, Collie looks and sounds determent to join them and make his stamp amongst the elite. The ten solid tracks on the album use a fine blend of Motown, RnB and jazz melodies accompanied by lyrical poetry. The opening song “Day One” Collie keeps it real, talking about his own comeback, experience and slagging off the competition. “No Matter What You Do Ft Funzo”. Both artists compliment each other, with Collie laying down lyrical beats and Funzo offering his vocal abilities over the track. Collie and Funzo released a video last year with this track, the video has clocked over 10k views on youtube. “Fresh” is the third tune on the album and comes with a sweet jazz groove under the rhymes, it has an old school rap feel to it with the melody spiraling round Collies lyrical genius. “Due In The Ministry”, is a more upbeat rap driven tune and the chorus makes for a good sing along. Halfway through at track number five, “True Champ” is were Collie works his magic with his lyrics and catchy chorus lines. Keeping the listener interested and head bopping the album gets even more exciting with song number six “Lazy Bones Ft Funzo”, again both artists work well together, with Collie rhyming alongside Funzo’s vocal lines. “Shock To The System”, Collie uses some cool techno beats under his rapping on this song, it would offer a good track for any club DJ to spin. Although it’s only a short tune, it makes a good filler track on the album. Track eight “Forgotten More Ft Funzo”, the use of jazz loops and latin beats in this song sounds fantastic, Funzo’s voice softens the hard rapping from Collie that cuts through the beat. Leading into song number nine “Bassline”, this songs kicks in with a dance beat and 90’s style rave melody. Collie works wonders on this track, integrating rap over the music and looping catchy lyrics into the song. The Album finishes out with “The Music”, the lyrics are honest and modest and are laid over an electronic chill out sound. The one thing that I like about Collie is that he does not use any political noise, drugs, sex or money lyrics to sell his sound. This is an artist that keeps it real from the heart and his heart is in Dublin and writing about his experiences. The Bitter Truth album is one of the finest examples of rap music to come out of Dublin. Collie stand-up and take a bow for another superb production.
The Bitter Truth Out Now!
rs o t i Ed ck! Pi
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A Joker’s Rage releases new EP ‘Black Sheep’
Review by James Lindsay
Joker’s Rage, a York [UK] based punk rock band have released their latest EP ‘Black Sheep’ this month. The band’s promotional write-up promises their new EP will challenge the listener like modern-day Muse, entertain like classic Kiss, and excite like MJ [Michael Jackson presumably]. They may cite these band’s in terms of how they affect the listener but there is not much I can detect in their sound that connects with them. A Joker’s Rage are very Punk, they are a little Screamo and a wee bit Emo… That’s not to suggest they won’t thrill you like Michael Jackson, say. There is a huge American Punk influence here and the band delivers that sound well. In terms of the band’s image, they are unashamedly styled in white make-up with creepy Joker smiles, hence the band name. There has clearly been an effort in conveying a personality here and I think their latest video ‘Bounce’ will either make it or break it for potential listeners. I must admit I was a little unsure at certain intervals in the video whether I should be laughing in acknowledgement of their fun-side or if I should nod respectfully to the emotional tone of the verse. It was a little conflicting and I thought they’ll be angry if I laugh at their make-up! The EP ‘Black Sheep’ has five tracks and the first one up is ‘Bounce.’ This is a sensible Single for the group as it is a perfect example of their abilities, with an emotionally toned verse and an up-tempo chorus which quite literally bounces. Think RATM’s ‘Know Your Enemy’ re-imagined by ‘Fall Out Boy’ and you’re in the general neighbourhood. The recording is top-notch and the
chorus while simple, is very effective. The second song on the EP is the title track ‘Black Sheep’ and takes the group’s abilities and musical aptitude to the fore. There is an additional layer of sophistication here and falls into more progressive territory. This track has pretty much everything a group like A Joker’s Rage can throw at a listener, musically speaking and is a great achievement I think. The third track ‘Temptress’ is a funky departure from the emotion but the band’s sound is retained and doesn’t sound out of place. Next up is ‘Closure’ and contains synth and rhythmic elements in the intro you’d usually expect from a Timbalandproduced track. This is soon pushed aside by a rock opera-esque explosion. It is unexpected but seamlessly integrated so you don’t question it much at all. This is certainly the ballad of the EP if you could call it. Again the band are showing their progressive side here. A musical-esque influence continues in the final track ‘Just Another Ghost’, this group just isn’t satisfied being labelled as plain old punks. It is worth mentioning in addition to the group’s image they carry names not unlike their influential predecessors ‘Kiss’. Band members include ‘Zakky Boy Taylor’ on vocals, Adam “Twiggy” Gauton on Guitars; Al Scott on Guitars; Geordie Ginface on Bass and finally Matt “Bam Bam” Collinge on Drums/Keys.
The EP ‘Black Sheep’ is available on iTunes & Google Play http://www.ajokersrage.com
Review by David Simpson
eginning as a writing duo with bassist Deborah O’Brien and guitarist Kevin O’Byrne in 2011, The Dark Lanes completed their lineup in the summer of 2013 with the recruitment of drummer, Josh Darby. The Dublin based band are a progressive rock act, whose material harbours a nice little penchant for the theatrical. Debut EP, See Behind the Beam, is a five track odyssey of mesmerising music that is captivating from start to finish. Things get off to a dramatic commencement with “Caught in the Headlights.” We’re treated to a hypnotic musical intro that has an otherworldly air about it. O’Brien soon cuts in with vocals that are crisp and clear, before being joined by O’Byrne for a duet in the chorus. Their voices meld together well, making for a haunting listening experience. A cool, relaxing instrumental respite briefly takes over just after the two and a half minute mark before building back to the chorus and a marvellous, distorted guitar outro. “Unsaid” takes off with a foreboding drumbeat and riff, leading into more brisk vocals. Both singers really exhibit amazing talent here, complementing each other perfectly again, particularly during the chorus. The piece takes a more mellow turn halfway through with a riveting guitar solo, ahead of a return to the more weighty, austere nature of the beginning. Blasting into a fast paced, head-banging riff, “Shock” commences in truly awesome style. O’Brien and O’Byrne deliver
an enthralling melody, while menacing guitars rumble in the background. The chorus is chilling, creating an ominous atmosphere. The whole thing has quite a math rock-esque quality about it that works wonderfully. A somber intro starts “Glitter” with a dissonant sound that’s light on the ears but heavy in substance. O’Brien’s lingering vocals resonate in a manner that’s soft yet severe. The chorus sounds almost choir like with a drastic sort of chanting effect. There’s fine bass work displayed in the middle, eventually merging with a complex and rousing turn on the guitar. The track climaxes with a musical outro that builds spectacularly. “The Rocker” is more technical sounding that its predecessors. O’Byrne lets loose some magnificently punky vocals in the verse, that carry an in your face, rebelliousness with them. It creates a great attitude, with an unapologetic declaration of I am who I am, so deal with it. With energetic riffs and a frantic finish, the entire track is relentless, serving as a fitting finale for the EP. In See Behind the Beam, The Dark Lanes have crafted a dark and epic musical adventure for listeners to embark upon. Their work here showcases absorbing instrumentation amid stunning vocals, that are swelling with depth and emotion. These guys are certainly off to a promising start. I highly recommend checking them out.
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Review by Justin Ryan
ed Sail is a Dublin-based alternative folk duo, who describe their music as “Folky Voicy Loveliness!” which is true, but only scratches the surface. Members Sarah McWeeney and Simon Fitzpatrick (originally from Meath and Roscommon) have beautiful and soulful voices that would bring a tear to those with even the hardest of hearts. Their unique sound has an inherent maturity that goes well beyond their years their stunning vocal harmonies and poignant lyrics are a winning combination that creates utterly heart-rending songs. Most recently, the duo have released a live studio video of their song ‘Nothing At All’, recorded by Tony Fitz in The Chocolate Factory, Dublin. It’s a great performance, and a great song; the melody is soothing yet powerful, and the guitar accompaniment compliments it perfectly. It’s just great indie folk it’s rare to see a stunning live performance as well as a well-
written song, but Red Sail pull it off flawlessly. If you like this song, you should also check out their EPs Paper Cutouts and We Still Build Forts. I haven’t heard folk music this good in a long time, and it has just the slightest whisper of an Irish folk influence which is seriously refreshing. Songs like ‘Collide’ and ‘Balcony Balloons’ have an interesting mix of McWeeney’s and Fitzpatrick’s vocals; they alternate between singing the main melody and singing harmonies, and sometimes they release a burst of pure vocal energy together in moments of high emotion and the combination of their distinctive vocal timbres sounds astounding. It’s seriously powerful stuff. Listening to Red Sail’s music has made me fall in love with folk music all over again and I’m sure it will do the same thing for countless other music lovers. http://www.youtube.com/Redsailmusic
Review by David Simpson
ailing from northern England, five piece rock ensemble Cloverhill first came together a little over a year and a half ago. This may make them a relatively new act on the scene, but you certainly wouldn’t know it by listening to their music. The band’s four track EP, 7 of One, 2 ½ of the Other, boasts a collection of rock anthems skillfully composed in a delightfully old school style that is an undeniable call back to seventies and eighties hard rock bands. EP opener, “Get Single”, has a back to basics feel. Beginning with a simple yet heavy riff that runs through the verse, it’s not entirely dissimilar to Thin Lizzy of decades past. The upbeat and enthusiastic flow gives way to a wonderfully executed musical breakdown in the middle, showing off some accomplished guitar skills. It serves as a safe and accessible way to get things started. “Amy Does Hollywood” follows on with a heavier, grittier rhythm, reminiscent of the glory days of Guns ‘N’ Roses. The band speed up the momentum here with a track that seems tailor made for live performances. The catchy, infectious chorus blends the talents of lead vocalist Paul Laskey with those of backing singers Lynn Aitch and Sara Dee perfectly. It’s sure to have crowds singing and bouncing along. “Down Hill to the River” serves as something of a departure
from the sound of the first two tracks. It begins with a more complicated and raw riff, that quickly gives way to a quiet, reserved verse. The lead and backing vocals come together well again, in a song that has a very mellow vibe and is ideal for sitting back and unwinding to. The arduous opening riff returns about three quarters of the way in, building spectacularly to an epic finale while maintaining a chilled out ambience. Final entry, “Rollin’”, sees a return to a faster, more lively tempo. There’s a hectic, urgent pace to the music and vocals, which is maintained through the verses and speeds up further during the addictive chorus. This is certainly the track with the most dire sound on the EP. It’s easy to lose yourself to and is bound to be a crowd pleaser at gigs. There really isn’t a bad track on 7 of One, 2 ½ of the Other. Cloverhill definitely seem to know what their sound is and are confident in its execution. Their goal is clearly to pay homage to the classic rock of times gone by, while making their own mark on the genre. A lot of potential is demonstrated here and I’d be excited to hear what these guys could do with a full album. They’re a definite talent to watch. https://soundcloud.com/cloverhill
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Review by Eimear Ennis Graham
ingo are a four piece alt rock band, hailing from East London which formed in February 2013, consisting of Jack (guitars/ backing vocals) and Katie Buckett (Vocals/ Keys), with the rhythm section made up by Joseph (Joe) Reeves and Chris Smith. The story began when Jack and Joe decided upon a summer in the big apple, where Joe met and fell in love with Katie, after a year of travelling back and forth the two started the Cable Street Electric open mic night in London, helping musicians to meet and socialise. Before long the two were married. Then along came ‘Jingo,’ who’s opening show was playing as support for Graham Coxon, of ‘Blur’ fame who heard about them from Cable Street Electric. ‘The Art of loving,’ which was self recorded is their debut album, mastered at Soup Studios was released in September of this year and has already had airtime on BBC London’s “Introducing with Gary Crowley”. The lads have been busying themselves, with six tracks already released in just seven months. So we know they’re eager, all we have to do is listen to the morphing tracks from “Black Flowers” to “Same without you” which by the way is one of those songs you will listen to on repeat, while lying on
the floor as you contemplate what you want to do with your life, and out of the pensive lyrics you somehow hear an answer… or at least you feel as though you have, with that raging inner voice silencing itself to it’s heartbroken melodic tune. Lead vocalist, Katie Buckett has that same sultry, passionate, alluring vocals as “Letters to Cleo” lead singer Kay Hanley, although she is most often compared to Alison Mosshart. You can feel the passion, seduction and cautiously I mention a near angst like tone bubbling from some of the tracks. By angst I don’t mean to suggest a teenage ‘the world doesn’t understand me’ kind of buzz, but more about a raw, albeit pop version of heartbroken lyrics to the soft lulling tones of a piano. The band, whom clearly have a rather eclectic taste in music between them, with each track varying in tone and shape. Why should you listen to them? Because their choruses linger in your head and Katie’s vocals have the ability to awaken your senses and make you want to pay attention to each syllable rolling off her tongue. http://jingomusic.bandcamp.com
Review by James Lindsay
uperstar Tradesmen, a Dublin based four-piece Indie Rock outfit released their debut album ‘Pen to Page’ in October this year. From first listen I immediately started thinking, these guys grew up listening to Oasis, Blur; Stereophonics… you get the idea. I was worried this was an album that might not be relevant nowadays but then I always forget Noel and Liam Gallagher have had two very successful projects since Oasis, so that audience remains intact. Take the Arctic Monkeys for example, they have forged a sound from very similar roots and expanded to huge audiences inspiring new waves of that same indie scene. I’m not saying Superstar Tradesmen’s debut album is the next Definitely Maybe but it could be, maybe… The opening track ‘Maybe I Won’t Be’ is suitably energetic for a positive-feel opener and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The vocals are noticeably smooth, melodic and really do shine in the chorus. I suspect you won’t find defeated or miserable musicians here. The next track of note is ‘Cross the Line’ which has a more adventurous vibe and gallops along in a somewhat country-rock manner. The chorus is not unlike Alex Turner’s Last Shadow Puppets project in terms of sound, so the band’s influences and potential appeal begins to unravel throughout the album. The title track ‘Pen to Page’ is the bigger, slower track. Rich in harmony and plenty of emotional strength, it is easy to see why this is the flagship of the album.
Overall, the album recalls a lot of components of the Indie groups we all became so familiar with during the 90s and depending on who you are, that’s a good thing or a really bad thing. If there’s resurgence afoot, Superstar Tradesmen will sit nicely into this and produce something of value I’m sure. For me, it reminded me of too many pub bands that didn’t set themselves apart from the rest stylistically. There’s no doubt Superstar Tradesmen have worked hard on their debut release and have passed a significant milestone in their musical careers, however I would urge them to keep developing their craft if they mean to go pro. Now is the time to gig heavily, market the album and harness that focus which recording an album brings to get writing again. It’s worth mentioning the group have been signed to a US label, Mervilton Records recently. This isn’t any reason for the group to be complacent as I couldn’t find any future tour dates for the album. It leaves you wondering if they need some well-earned time off after the album. I wouldn’t blame them but I think underpromoting an album is a mistake and gigs are the best marketing tool any band could ever have at their disposal.
‘Pen to Page’ is available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/id917917701 https://play.google.com/store/music/album https://play.spotify.com/album/018hiAIzzrkEQHJOqrYLqe
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Review by James Lindsay
our-piece London/UK metal group Ascending Dawn released their debut album ‘Coalesce’ on November 15 this year. Although a nine track album a lot of ground is covered so let’s begin with the first single ‘Cannonball’, which seems to be the lead track with the most commercial potential. Although I prefer the opening track ‘All In Now’ which was also a single for the band and has a killer chorus. In terms of sound, to a classic rock and metal listener ‘Cannonball’ is a fullon, ambient and unrelenting emotional punch in the ears. And it makes sense for this track to be the BIG single as it has the widest appeal. The intro isn’t too hard on the untrained metal flirt’s ears where a melodic piano part keeps the metal-ness at bay just enough to be familiar to some that might even recall ‘Evanescence’ in their peak. Cannonball, to me doesn’t represent the band’s full potential musically but is a good indication. The second single ‘All In Now’ takes its rightful position as track one although the intro might scare off some of the general public. The delivery of the main hook is powerful and encapsulating. There is plenty of alternating texture and rhythms to keep you fully engaged throughout. The chorus has an addictive nature to it and the slick harmonies are pretty seductive. Basically, it’s a great track. The third single ‘Opposites’ has a more disjointed feel both rhythmically and melodically. It feels like a less frequently used ingredient in the album ‘Coalesce’ is being explored more here. The other mentioned singles had most of their emphasis on the chorus whereas the verses and instrumentation for ‘Inside the Silence’ seem to get more play and are more interesting as a result. I think it’s always good to explore different structures and this track seems to fall a little out of the formula of the other singles. A good thing for the right listener! I’m not fully aware of the status of the metal industry nowadays and what opportunities a solid and powerful group like this could avail of, but I’m assuming the competition for commercial air play is stiff. The only thing that could stifle the group’s success is a lack of demand for their musical style so at least they have the talent end of it covered. Ascending Dawn have a huge sound and a powerful female vocalist [Marlain Angelides] with the emotional aptitude to produce an impressive album known as ‘Coalesce,’ which is currently available online via Bandcamp. https://ascendingdawn.bandcamp.com /album/coalesce
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Review by Justin Ryan
ublin-based indie rock band TabloidTv are set to launch their new EP, entitled Mixed Messages, in The Grand Social on Thursday November 13th. The EP, recorded and mixed by Francessco Gatti, is an energetic mix of catchy riffs and clever lyrical ideas. Each song is cleverly crafted and deserves to be a hit. The opening song, ‘First Winter’, is a strong opener. Introducing the song through an a cappella version of the chorus is an ingenious way to hook the listener, and when the bouncy rhythms come in, it’s sure to be one of your favourites. The song is also chock-full of melodic hooks, so it’ll be stuck in your head for days! ‘Always Hold On’ continues this upbeat sound, with a pleasant guitar riff as an intro. As before, the lyrics are clever and catchy, and the melody is singable and addictive. There is also a strong underlying rhythm, which moves the song along nicely and keeps it interesting. ‘Check’ is a funky Smiths-sounding track, with a great chorus
built around an interesting chord progression. It’s slightly more edgy than the previous two songs, and has an awesome guitar solo to boot. This song changes the overall tone of the EP, and it’s definitely a good thing. ‘Let’s Dance’ would be a great song to dance to. It has a great forward-moving momentum that’s difficult not to move to. It’s a pleasant and inoffensive song, and really memorable. It also has clapping. Every lively song needs clapping. ‘Runaways’ is the only slow song on the EP, and it’s fantastic. The vocals make this track – they’re haunting and emotional, and suit the theme of the lyrics perfectly. The guitar has a gentle sound and doesn’t take away from the vocals, yet without it the song would undoubtedly be incomplete. Mixed Messages is a terrific EP with great songs. The musicians are clearly talented, and they make for a really awesome listening experience. https://soundcloud.com/tabloidtv
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Review by Justin Ryan
ollowing the release of several singles in 2013, singersongwriter Margaret O’Sullivan from Cork (aka Femmepop) has recently released her debut album, entitled From A Girl Who Never Sleeps. The album was written, recorded and produced by O’Sullivan herself and later mixed and mastered by Gavin Monaghan whose previous work includes Babes in Toyland and Broadcast. In a nutshell, From A Girl Who Never Sleeps is an album of classic synth-driven pop and relaxed vibes. However, there is an inherent darker edge in each song which gives the album something unique. Songs such as ‘Timescapes’ and ‘Neon Nights’ are built around cleverly-crafted synth riffs that are reminiscent of 80s pop. Honestly, if you like synth even a little bit, then this album is for you. Of course, synthpop doesn’t define the entire album. There are some songs, such as ‘Beautiful Boy’ which have an ominous rock twist. Songs like this create an album that expands across multiple genres, and it’s fantastic.
O’Sullivan is also clearly a fan of the spoken word – many songs on the album, including the opening song ‘1983’, have sections where the lyrics are spoken as opposed to sung. It’s a great addition to the songs and gives them a deeper meaning than your run-of-the-mill pop songs – it’s like poetry set to music! The entire album has this great ambience – great for night-time driving or gazing out your window on a rainy day! It’s a perfect blend of atmospheric backing music and well-executed vocals. O’Sullivan has a distinctive breezy (yet strong) sounding voice that is akin to Alanis Morissette or The Cocteau Twins. Saying that, it’s difficult to compare her to anyone – she’s just truly unique. From A Girl Who Never Sleeps is an album that I’ll remember for a very long time, and I’m confident that Femmepop is a name that will be heard more and more as O’Sullivan’s career progresses. It’s refreshing to hear an album that adds some respectability to pop, and it really should be heard by just about everyone. http://femmepop.bandcamp.com/album/from-a-girl-who-never-sleeps
Review by James Lindsay
luent In Grey, a new four piece based in London have released their debut single ‘Lost’. For a new group established only this year there is a surprising and immediate sense of experience and style. On first listen to ‘Lost’ many great names like Jesus and the Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine come to mind as it lends to an easy feel and that dark tone that lovers of the Shoegaze scene would appreciate. However there is a modern layer to this track and certainly a few electronic toys were added to fill out this wall of sound approach. This track has depth and is delivered with a dreamy and seductive vocal – I even think fans of Lana Del Ray will instantly relate to the feel which only adds to it’s current appeal in my opinion. The lyrics whilst carefully delivered sound easy to
DJ Melodic Review by Colm Quinn
I checked out American rapper DJ Melodic’s stuff. He got some good rhymes on some well-produced tracks. ‘Lovelyday’ is a nice chilled out track. He’s got the smooth flow which works well for what he’s talking about. The track itself is nice, old-school feel good hiphop. He lays down a rhyme in the first minute of the track and then there’s singing from then on in. This is good but I would’ve liked to hear him put another rhyme into the track. ‘What is love’ is a soulful track backed by almost ghostly vocals. This sounds good but occasionally does step on the rhymes.
Marcella and maintain the track’s haunting quality. Lush guitars, deep rounded low end and the emerging drums from the backdrop all swell nicely into the chorus and the whole track maintains the right feel from start to finish with no unnecessary instrumentation. I must commend the band’s first effort as a good one! I think there’s a future for a band that produces something of this depth as a first offering and put’s the effort into delivering a stylish video with the right tone to accompany. I’m sure these perfectionists will continue to gain interest and hopefully move into the realms of label courtship, should they be into that sort of thing. https://soundcloud.com/fluentingrey
He kind of falls down a bit on ‘Work’. It’s nothing more than the usual gangster thing. He’s smarter on other tracks. This is nothing that hasn’t being done a million times before. You know the type of thing – I’m the best there ever was with lyrics like, “You’re about to get popped/No you won’t stop/You’re about to get dropped.” And apparently he’s going to make some money. Maybe rappers feel like they need to do a track like this but I think it’s time they got past it. And on ‘Dreams ’97’ he shows he can do better as well. When this song starts the beat sounds as deep as a Massive Attack tune. And the lyrics have the depth here to match it. He’s talking about life on the street again but it sounds real rather than a general ‘I’m a big hard gangster’ tune. Good political lyrics are contrasted by a chorus which sounds like something a parent would sing to a child.