April 2013 Issue
CAT DOWLING ARTIST OF THE MONTH - Interview Inside
HARD ROCK RISING 2013 Live Review of the Dublin Final
Live Review of Semi Final #3 JUST NO Single Launch
Plus... THE RUBY SESSIONS DIMESTORE RECORDINGS SAUCY SUNDAYS ALBUM / EP REVIEWS APRIL 4x4
CONTENTS: 1-2 Cat Dowling
3-5 6 7-10 11-13 14-17 18-19 20 U & I Music Magazine Phillip Ó’ Baoighhealláin (Managing Director/Editor) Graphic design/page layout: Greg Clifford (Deputy Editor) Reviewers: Emma Maher Ben Heary Gigs Photographer: Eric Cooper King Kong Club Photography: Mark O’ Connor Cat Dowling photography: Karl Odlum Sunday Roast photography: Martini Smyth
-SCENE & HEARD-
Saucy Sundays The Sunday Roast Dimestore Recordings The Ruby Sessions The King Kong Club (Semi Final #2) Hard Rock Global Rising 2013 Final Just No (Single Launch)
-ALBUM/EP REVIEWSAlbum Reviews
-Irish ArtistsConor Linnie David Hope The Fitzafrenic Kaplin 29-34 35-38 39 40
-International ArtistsQuiet Company Jointpop Jethro Pickett
- Irish EP Reviews - International EP Reviews - Singles of the Month - April 4x4 -
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Artist Of The Month
................................................................................................................ How did you become interested in music? Who were the influences on you growing up?
CD: I had music in my veins from the beginning. I sang as a kid and used to always get selected for lead roles in school choirs and plays. People seemed to think I had a voice from an early age. It was all small stuff but it started my love affair with music. I come from a large family and there was always music in the background. My early influences were Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Michelle Shocked, Simon and Garfunkel, The Cure. I remember hearing the Stone Roses and Nirvana for the first time. I was really young and that was a pivotal moment for me. We have seen you perform live on a number of occasions and you always seem to have something natural about you in your stage presence. Have you always wanted to be the lead singer and at the front or was it something that has occurred out of circumstance over time? CD: I never planned it - it just worked out. I have always played and written out of necessity. Songs tend to burst out of me like wild animals. I have no choice but to write and sing. I need music for survival. How much of a benefit has ALPHASTATES been to you in terms of helping you start out as a solo performer? CD: It taught me an awful lot. I learned a huge amount. We had great times, had great laughs and built deep friendships. I treasure the memories and thankfully I've learned from the mistakes. In terms of your live shows, you have had a very busy 12 months or so. That has been made up of smaller gigs, festivals and in between there has been a lot of work on the album. In terms of the groundwork being done you seem to be approaching it with a very well laid out strategy. That is down to both the single releases on the album and accompanying them with videos. On the video side of things, all the accompanying videos have been well produced. Were you pleased with the way things progressed on that front?
‘’I need music for my survival’’ CD: It feels really nice at the moment. I've made an album that I love and that I'm proud of. It's a huge bonus that other people are liking it too. It all feels very natural. It’s all working very organically and it feels as if it is taking on a life of its own. Lots of really brilliant creative people want to work with me. For this, I'm very grateful Both “The Well Runs Dry” and “Come On” were animated videos. That is not a process that you see a lot of from artists when they wish to put together a video, but in your case you did it twice. Did you have any input in things there when it came to the concept or did you trust it in the hands of the director? How did the animated approach come into the thinking on things? CD: I worked with the very talented Marc Corrigan on both these videos. He came up with the brilliant ideas/concepts and I loved them. It worked really well for both of us. We will definitely be working together again in the future.
Artist Of The Month
At the moment the Dublin scene is buzzing with the current quality of the unsigned artists currently playing. As a live performer we have seen a great deal of you on the Dublin circuit in the last year. We included you as one of the 10 bands in our “10 Bands Of Christmas” magazine. But you have been consistently on the circuit- be that Dublin or anywhere in the country. One of the gigs that you played last year was Imagine Festival which took place in a church. Tell us a little about that. CD: That was gorgeous. The church is one of the oldest churches in Waterford. I went to secondary school at the Mercy Waterford and I often remember passing it and wondering what went on in there. It was an old Protestant church and there was something vaguely spooky about it. When I played the show, it was like I stepped back in time. I was the little girl in the gallery watching the woman perform onstage. I was two people in two places at once. The festival circuit also saw you take in Knockanstockan, Castlepalooza and two sets at ELECTRIC PICNIC. Is there something more to playing to crowds of that size that you don’t get when you play at a smaller gig? CD: I think it doesn't matter if you play to 3 or 1000. Magic happens when you create love between you and your listener. Singing to me is freedom and beauty and it needs to be treasured every single time. Anyone who makes an effort to come and hear the songs deserves the best. It a symbiotic relationship - a very beautiful one. We're all giving to each other. Another interesting thing of note was that Ronan McCann (a.k.a. Created By Waves) rated you as one of his top 5 performers he saw at Indiependence. Recognition in any form is always good, but when it comes from a fellow unsigned artist it must be a bigger boost. That was for wearenise.com and it was obviously a recommendation that was targeted at grassroots artists. How did it feel to get a shout-out like that? CD: It always feels incredibly nice to get a shout-out and particularly from someone who is as talented as he. You also supported a lot of artists last year and shared the line-up with some impressive names. Two support slots that spring to mind are for CAROL KEOGH and LES MARIONETTES inside the space of a month. There was also the support to BUCK 65 from Canada in November. How privileged does it make you feel as an artist when you are asked to support artists that you look up to?
CD: It's a privilege to play music but it is an honour to play with artists I admire. So to play with artists that I hold in such high regard is a bonus in itself and one of the reasons why music is always going to be important to me. I will always just see things that come my way like that as a sign not to take things for granted either. You were also included as one of the artists on the bill for the Saucy Sundays' second birthday party. That was regarded as one of the hot tickets in town because THE STRYPES were the headlining act on the night, but the other artists on the billing were impeccable. Then in January you included as one of the artists for the “Ones To Watch”. What would you attribute that recognition and inclusion to? CD: I love playing music. I was thrilled to be asked to play both those events. I took it as compliment. It’s comforting to know that people out there thing so highly of me. To me I am just concentrating on the music and performing. If it is able to make people respond in a positive way like that then I suppose it is a great boost, but I tend not to take too much notice of things because it is so easy to lose the focus if you start believing the hype. At the moment the community aspect of it is something that is bringing everyone together and a lot of positive things are beginning to happen. Some people would argue that it has always been there, others would say that it something that is not living up to the potential of it. How do you see the current music scene in Dublin? CD: The music scene in Ireland is vibrant, alive and brilliant. The quality of music and acts is phenomenal and it feels incredible to be part of this scene right now. Artists and writers have stepped up their game and everyone now is playing to the world stage and not simply a small island on the western edges of Europe. What does the future hold in store for you? What can we expect? CD: Well the album is out now and it is a big relief to finally be able to say it is something that has been realised. With that in mind it now becomes a hard shore to promote the album. That is going to entail a lot of gigging and publicity…basically whatever is necessary to get the best out of it. So I expect to be kept busy over the next couple of months promoting it. The album is entitled “The Believer” and we will have a review of it featured in the May issue of U&I Music Magazine.
SCENE & HEARD
SAUCY SUNDAYS The Grand Social (31-03-13)
The Grand Social is one of the best music venues in the city and we spent Easter Sunday afternoon sitting down watching a great afternoon of music. SAUCY SUNDAYS has now become a permanent fixture on the Dublin music scene over the last two and a half years and always proves to be an excellent way to spend the day catching live music. Getting things underway for us was OISIN MCCOLE with “Apples And Lemons”. Here everything is stared down on the playing which allows the rhythm to retain a dainty quality to it. The ponderous tone manages to pocket this finely with the astute observations made in the lyrics. The picturesque setting of it all tees everything nicely. A quite descriptive roll comes in on “Be Your Own Fool”. That allows the guitar to contain the tempo on it and it becomes quick and sturdy on that front. While colourful and vibrant, it is also deep in sound and the pick-up on it is eventful. That is outlined by the tender aspects from his voice that give things a soulful splendour here. With the next “Axe Murderer” there is a contentment to be found that sits rather well with the opening line of the song. This plays like an anthem for the unhinged members of society but there is an intelligent showing from the lyrics on it. It makes social references not commentary and that is then strung together with the handy rhythm and educated showing. There is a grandiose sentiment about it that adds to the askew.
OISIN MCCOLE “Not For Your Heart” buries things in a stoic style but opens up inside that stationary styling. The loose ‘walk-around’ fell on it retains a faithful side that achieves the journey handsomely on the acoustic front. That whispery feel on show marries suitably to the playing. The pairing of the words in the lyrics judges smartly for the process as a whole here. A song about an experience being mugged was next. The attempt is content from it as a ballad. That sees the story unfold acceptably and things are light hearted. The justified pretence about it allows the song to perform well. This shows a fine turn from the artist, in particular the oblivious and involving attention to detail. While the pondering itself also blesses it well. With “Ocean Liner” things are immediately weighed up. There is an impressive scale about it that is supported by the rhythm. There is also something about it that is laid bare. With that in mind, the honest and integral side of it all allows the brief little number that is to tumble along pleasantly. Up next from Oisin McCole is an appearance at The Apollo Sessions on April 14th.
SAUCY SUNDAYS The Grand Social (31-03-13)
SCENE & HEARD WILLOW SEA This artist has recently played as a support act to BETH ORTON, so to see him take to the stage here at The Grand Social is a true testament to the reputation of Saucy Sundays. The backing track to his opening song “What If Why Not” smartly unfurls. By doing so a decadent aspect is maintained. That steadily builds at the forefront. There is a high score from the synth here but the drum and bass is the defining characteristic on it. The expressive side to it is relayed here and the intuitive side of it settles the arrangement as the guitar locks in the right motions. With “Silver Moonlight Falls” there is an unhinging and hypnotic quality that underlines the xylophonic play. The round and tumultuous beat bounces behind this. What is experimental on it is pursued well. That gives it a style that is also an incredible showing. The intrinsic creation is intermittent and absorbing. “Tribute To Lalo Schifrin” was next. He is the guy who scored the “Bullitt” theme and here there is a flush and steady rhythm that is heavy and snappy in terms of how it is managed. The abundant fresh qualities of it contain a strong sense of funk that is finely felt on it that gives the performance a conviction. The synth has a more persistent action to perform on “Roger Moore Disco Cream” that competently pieces the beat together. The operation to it all is astoundingly orchestrated in terms of how expansive it sounds. The prompt presence of it is well angled here and motions a prominent display about it that is done through the dedication on show. A cover of 1938 jazz classic “Big Noise From Winnetka” derives a fine beat from the drum machine. There is an oscillation that shows as the garage elements on it come in to the reckoning that presents well. The guitar has an afforded presence about it here that sits well with the European house style coming across. There is a heightened sense following through on it that shows a smart turn to the tune also. Up next from WILLOW SEA is a gig at The Sunday Roast in The Mercantile on April 21st.
....................................................................................... FUTURE PHANTOMS
FUTURE PHANTOMS are a band that we have been following since they started out as a band on the Dublin music scene and they were the next band to play here at Saucy Sundays. “Can You Tell Me” packs the intro with the necessary verve all great bands possess. The reliable side of their performance here finds itself easily in frontman IAN BRENNAN. They show a crisper method in terms of the layout on this one and they conjure a competent mean streak from the playing on it here that blisters. That energetic and vibrant approach is repeated on “Just For A Day” imparts a lean and reliable sound that is full on with how the rhythm synchronises with all of the other aspects on show. The excellent manner to it in terms of how it is rolled shows. The delivery manages to complement the fine running to it here in a way that gives a good account of the band. Then they played “Loving The Idea” and the bass catches things in an imaginative way that allows the lived delivery to feed off the atmosphere in the room. As it gathers momentum it develops a pomp that is able to lock in the natural qualities extremely well. That leads to an assured performance.
The leads guitar brings in “Nobody Knows” and has a token sound about it. The brash turn to it is key. That allows it to mesmerise as it takes off and sees the band get down to business. The playing on this lights up and evenly curtails it all before unleashing the rhythm on the bridge in a storming fashion. This shows a fantastic aspect of their live set. A new song followed with “Until I See The Sun” and it yields a fortunate sound from it all. The composure to this balances the paying on all fronts. It possesses paunchy guitar riffs that combine dazzlingly on the play. The concurrent features displayed show a competence that merges the impeccable sides of everything here well. Without skipping a beat they played “Circles”. They eat it up on the play here. There is a big way about this song and it gives off a certainty in terms of how it sounds. The commanding display in how it is performed on stage shows the awesome side to it match the fine way it all flies. Here is a song from the band that is well worth tracking down and listening to because it corners everything you would want from a band. The guitar leans in on their final song “Life And Love” that forces through in a way that reasons well on this one. The intro clocks in on it and the formidable side to it is identifiable. The concise way the playing weaves in and out on it turns the charm on in a big way. The vocals bring a heft but it is in the outline of the blues solo from the rhythm guitar that the song finds the true standout moment for it.
SAUCY SUNDAYS The Grand Social (31-03-13)
SCENE & HEARD BLUE CHOIR
BLUE CHOIR were playing here at SAUCY SUNDAYS for the first time, and on the strength of their performance here this afternoon they would be more than welcome back. The hospitable come offs evenly on “Get Ready For War” and they pick away at that. Somehow it readies itself and things work all the more for it. The intricate portrayal to it all shows the intent and is defined by this gentile quality. With “Lighthouse” there is a tremendous feel to it in the beginning that lets the expressive side take the lead as it takes flight. There is an enchanting showing to it here. What is equivocal in it is the way the guitar keys in a playing style that is borderline shoegazer and also able to open up. The delivery is all the m ore enigmatic for it and produces a clever return that is invested smartly here. “Since We Spoke Last” focusses more on the alternative and progressive sound. That expanse matches the features in a deliberate way. While being both moody and melancholic it delves into the rock side finely. Here it showcases a great deal of intriguing moments that give it finesse. That is followed up by the highly inventive “We’re All Awake”. While being clear and withdrawn on the whole it contains an intrigue and allure as it plays that draws you in. The acoustic guitar is accomplished on it, while the showing to it embraces the drum and bass side of it in a very engaging way. To close out their set they played “Telescope”, a tune with ane excellent focus on the drum and bass side of things. The calypso element is taken in well here and the movement is a descriptive trait and the alternative way about it occupies sweetly. How it all comes to beat on this is a talismanic effort that shows a true stature to the band going on. The band is pencilled in for an appearance at Vantastival and if anyone is going they are well worth checking out live. BLUE CHOIR will also play the KC SESSIONS on April 13th at the Crane Lane Theatre in Cork.
....................................................................................... SLIM JIM AND THE BONE BREAKERS SLIM JIM AND THE BONE BREAKERS were here his afternoon as a super-sub after a late cancellation by one of the bands. Their style of rockabilly is very fresh and it has a way imbuing everything about that era of music that has made it timeless into the live performance. The easy listening style that accompanies all of this kind of music is there on show with their first tune “Breaking Bones”. The sentiment to it blazes through in the formidable fashion. The trusty showing about it bustles with a true vigour. That seemed to ready them up for their set in a commendable way. The comfortably showing in the performance was eased into a succession of covers. The first being the ELVIS version of “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” and then followed up by “Lawdie Mrs Claudie” and “Speedo”. All three display the charismatic appeal well. The rhythm brightly shines on all fronts and feels at home. The resilient qualities don’t underperform in any way and there is no complacency on show to it. They then repeat the handsome on the FORD TENNESSEE ERNIE classic “16 Tonnes”. The way they break it out is a tidy showing that catches the double bass in the right way. From there the ‘teddy boy’ styling really feels at home. “Poison Ivy” is an original from the band and has an assured showing to it. This steps out on the vital aspects and they are clearly put on show. That is why it all goes down well on the music side of things. What also testifies on it here is the vocal delivery. The way that it gets down to it invigorates. Then the rest of their set was made up of covers. Three more were to follow. The first was “Going Up The Country”. That proves to be a saving grace from them that catches the tight sides finely. That dandy showing has the necessary lingering qualities about it in how the energetic pace shows on it. It is also rich in nostalgia and tees up “Folsom Prison Blues” in a way that touches down exceptionally well. The authority and urgency about the whole lot of it bring the true spirit to the fore on it. Then they closed out with “Hillbilly Wolf” by LINK RAY. Their version here has a keel to it that it turns smartly on. The undeniable fast tempo on it creates openness for it and really moves as it should.
SCENE & HEARD
The Roast TheSunday Ruby Sessions
Mercantile (31-03-13) TheThe Theray (22-02-13)
GREG CLIFFORD & BAND On account of The Sunday Roast being a showcase for cover bands this evening we stuck to our guns and reviewed the only original act to play on the night -GREG CLIFFORD. His very competent set began with “Wandering Man” and a clear flutter abounds from it that flits with different pockets of sound in a way that lets the buildup lead nicely. The vocals are finely placed on this one and the assured delivery achieves a lot. The acoustic guitar places a value onto the sound that fills an aura at the same time. A foot tambourine is also utilized to great effect. A more prudent structure seems to set in on “Confessions Of A Man” that is elevated by the combined showing in the playing. For this track (and the rest of the gig) Clifford adds ROSS ‘JAZZMAN’ O’FARRELL of COMMON WOLF on bass and RICHIE ‘FRAGMAN’ KENNEDY of THE LATE FRAGMENTS on drums. The tempo flows and the distinguished way that it all balances sits nicely on the timing front. The lyrics have a clever hilt to them that light up as the song digs deep. A track called “Wasting Away” went out to ‘the flag bearers’ in the audience. This touches out the playing with a neat flurry about the rhythm. How it all catches plants a funky rhythm squarely on it that shows solidly here. Another occurrence felt on it is when the Latin style that is applied expediently pours on some necessary flavour to it all.
There is something that navigates well on “The Tempest Within”. The structure that shows logically applies to it in a way that adheres to it finely. The drumming is a lavish play while the bass spaces out something in the sound. On the pick-up it retains these features and the consistency to it all comes alive in way that it truly felt. It marked something in the set musically to see a cover version of “Rondo Alla Turca” by MOZART. This proved to be a fantastic display upon the stage here tonight. The sunken way that “Looking Out For Number One” opens defines it and it gloriously presses ahead. There is a pert display from it that it maintains with the well-reasoned roll from the guitar. On the lyrics front it is highly appealing and the make-up of the song portrays a wonderful particularity to it all that serves the rich tone of his voice well. The live show here is also invigorating. With a bouzouki then being brought out on “Hold On” the sound is spruced up. The folk stride to it evens out and it becomes particular catchy in the expanse to it. The tempo resounds in a way that creates a trusty feel to it all here. When the song gets going the catchy feel to it is congratulatory and shows through magically. This song has all the right things that count and has them well measured in terms of what presents in the playing. The closing track here is a song that pulsates with the rhythm and sails out on it. “Revolver” has a Latin sentiment to it that flows well and elevates what is on show. The straight shooting style about it enamours something and gives it the necessary resolve to go the distance. It gets down to things and the luminous rhythm to it gives it true heart. Those loops in the play are also a tantalising prospect and they gift this song a mechanism that curses closely on it and smoothly even out the sound.
SCENE & HEARD
Dimestore Recordings Sweeney’s (28-03-13)
DECO GREENE Given that Good Friday falls this week an early start was called for here at DIMESTORE RECORDINGS this week and the show got started at half past six. The first act to take to the stage was singer/songwriter DECO GREENE. An accomplished performer, who we have seen play live before, things began with the assured delivery of his first song “Love Crime”. Here through his music he is able to bring the closer feel of it all very much to the front on it. The evoking of the fine vocals on it has a great deal to say. The transition of the playing allows for the sentimental passage so show through in the delivery. His application of the acoustic guitar is also able to apply the finer touches where required. The dandy feeling on “Clouds” is helped along by the gentle strumming of it all. This pins the rhythm to it all and makes for a joyous listen. The formation on show has a positive and vibrant progression to it all, but what also stands out on it here is the composure in the process. There is no shying away from his immersion into the song and that is what steals the moment here. “Tears In The Rain” is then able to stitch it all together with the carefree approach in the lyrics. That then drops back the pace on it in a way, but the good handling of it all sees it through. While the dropped back pace lessens the impact somewhat it is compensated finely by the broadening of it all on the playing side. This is a good trade off that shows a smart compromise here. Then he played “Serve You”. The fondness to it all is finely felt from the lyrics on the intro. What occurs as it opens builds the song. He is then able to reach for the higher points on the vocal delivery without stretching. That fine displays seems to light up the performance all at the same time, but it also displays a very smart element in his craft.
With “Fearless” he then ties things together in a way that is finely felt on the rhythm. Another interesting aspect to it all is the reckoned way that comes off it all. While the rhythm is one thing to comment on, the descriptive cut from the words is another. The union of both sides to this song is done in a truly meaningful way that shines through. Then he played “Love And War” and this is blessed with a fortunate way that sits inside on the playing. They lyrics commit to it and their application here has a decisive plus to it all. The reputable flight of it all sits comfortably on all fronts. That is a descriptive and tidy offering from him that has an honest variance that also comes through. With “All I have” following that up the pristine and timely turn to it all comes off the guitar. The way it is etched out is acknowledged by the way it all flows through. By letting things out in this way the inward way it all flows, while sounding contradictory, adjusts well and floats across it most seriously. He then stores up a lot of well-intended playing on “Sky Whispers” that is kept hold of in a well-defined way. The sound is guided by the fanciful method that comes out on the tone and rhythm here. The piecing of it all shows a good endeavour that finds the right balance to complete it all. His final track here was “The Lesson”, which is also the title of his upcoming EP. The proven tone comes into the reckoning off the intro. Here it levels out finely and the maintenance to the delicate side of it shows a dedication that is helped more by the live showing here.
SCENE & HEARD
Dimestore Recordings Sweeney’s (28-03-13)
PETER PUREHEART PETER PUREHEART then stepped up and took the stage. An accomplished jamming session warmed him up for his set. Just from this improvised display there were a lot of things put right. The tidy little feel to it all is locked in with a sturdy rhythm that is backed up by the drumming and the way the guitar rattles it all off. That put to one side, “Mr. Evergreen” then cleanly picks up the pace. The playing has a presence about it that radiates. He is also somehow able to extend something comparative as the song progresses, and the tempo is able to match that concise delivery. Then the thorough rhythm on “You’ve Been Lied To” comes off. While there is a timid feel to it as things begin to pick up on the pace it also seems to grow in stature. There is a compelling way in how it lifts gradually. Another aspect of it here that gives it a pep is the way the drumming all shows in the right places. When considered as a companion piece to the acoustic guitar evenly stoked upon it the spiritual feel to it is acknowledged.
There is a tidy running order about “Raindrops” that is given added flavour in how the rhythm styles it all. Another thing that is embraced on it here are the reggae aspects of the sound. They work well and allow it to freely play out. What is engaging about the performance here is the sincerity in the play. What happens next with “Reconsider Baby” begins to show a roadhouse style to it that suits the artist as a performer in terms of how comfortable he appears to be when he gets lost in the music. That is further underlined in the delivery. The rhythm has a hard edge to it and the even showing to it gives it an American blues feel. The comparison with THE DOORS is appropriately made here because of the way that the vocals are steered to convey the magnetism in the performance.
“Sitting On Top Of The World” impressively commands the attention of the audience. The rhythm is fast and convincing and situates itself in a way to extract exactly what is required and intended. While it is full on it is also a gradual showing from the play. The hearty lift coming through on this one dances finely with the lyrics. The combination here trails it all in a way that allows it to bask when the live delivery nails it all down finely. To close a fine set was the minimalist “Open Your Eyes”. While that is the way in how it is styled it still lays down good qualities. The lyrics evoke a withdrawn melancholy that is a big draw on the performance here. The handle shown marks out the delivery for all the right reasons.
SCENE & HEARD
Dimestore Recordings Sweeney’s (28-03-13)
Our next act came all the way from Minneapolis to play for us here tonight. ANDY ELWELL pierced the air with “Scent Of Gas” and circulates something impressive it must be said for the well placed feel to it all. The timing on it tracks well and there is a means to it that allows for the pace to become a more full on feature. That then becomes animated into the live show here, but the structure gently sets in on it to place well. Then something more humble and earnest comes through on “I Swear You Love”. That is marked out finely by the way the music is caressed and it shows well for the song. There is a sense of the journey felt from it here. That is to say that it travels well. With the performance laid bare here there is a vulnerability that shows in the delivery. That proves to be an interesting aspect in it as it does occur. There is a merry feel to be considered about “In The Quiet”. The chord work on it beds in well and the steadfast tempo to it sails across here. All the elements come together in a way that shows they are placed where they belong. There is a hard hitting vocal delivery that weighs in on it also. What happens to the music is interesting and it develops into a way with a true keel to it. With “Buried” the sound appears to patter on the intro. That gives it an internalised approach that all the playing side of things comes in around. There appears to be a formula to it and it adheres to this. This introspective side to it becomes a mainstay that the feeling and placement of it all fall smartly into line with.
“Back To Me” then comfortably brings things to bear on the song through a light application of the play. The vacant style that is placed upon it here then begins to slowly unravel to reveal more to it. The homely narrative about it is played quite well. That then gives it a showy and contented side that keeps things closed in but still displays a vivid charm in doing so. Then “The Morning Sun” emits a more minute feeling. The tempo on it is then able to find a way of capitalising on this with great certainty. The sound is dilated and well gauged here. Through the song the relentless tasking of the lyrics find a fine point of place. That sees a soulful spirit come on show with the vocals. How “This Year” comes to life is a wonderful piece of work. The abundant side of the sound is well conveyed and keeps the imaginative side of it all on track. Things are pushed out finely by the playing of it here. The forward direction pursued is well measured and shows a strong sensibility. There is also an anaemic toll that is helped by the lyrics. There is a touching and heartfelt fabric that is stoked out on it well. There is a good showing about it from beginning to end that he seems to be aware of. Then to close out he played a cover of “Ooh La La” by THE SMALL FACES. This was done off mike and the performance was more than capable of showing something about it.
SCENE & HEARD
Dimestore Recordings Sweeney’s (28-03-13)
THE KARTELS The second last act playing here at Sweeney’s tonight was THE KARTELS. The rhythm stirs it all up on their first track “Higher” superbly. There is a good reckoning on show to it here and they keep a tidy hold on it. The pace set out on it shows good work and it is shaken up by the vocals of it all. The tempo gives it a good body that fills out smartly as the song plays out among the rhythm laced on it. There is no stalling on next song “Don’t Let Them Get You Down”. The smooth and gnarly vocals on this carry it along finely. They show an enormous amount of effort on the bridge. That is solidified by the mean streak that the drumming shows to it all. The lead guitar on this one plays things appropriately and the time to it is all marked out quite well on it. With the band now eased into their set they play “She’s A Supernova”. Again, there is an intelligent shaping behind all the playing that gives it fortitude. They also tease the playing out. What then occurs at this point sees the guitar corner something definitive that hangs well. It creates this cursive feel in the sound and that gives it a proper direction that it tirelessly works to its advantage. Then the band takes the laid back approach and ease into “Take It Out On Me”. The approach on show is a slick piece of work that is contained in all sides by the progression to it all. Notice is also taken on the delivery of it all. This is easy to warm to and it is fired up in a way that shows something solid to it all. The heavier feel to it gathers up well and it drives it out.
The pace on “I Waited For You” is bullet like and controlled in a considerable way from the band, The guitar gives it a fine whip that reflects well on it. That makes it catchy as hell and it reliably begins to come through on it all. That is also able to gift upon it something that strongly defines the sound. It is neat and showy, yet there is a mighty impressive feat about it all that bursts through as the intentions play out on it. “Good Times” derives a good beat and offers something good up in the process. It is boosted by the live perspective. As it plays out it seems to electrify what is on show here. They knowingly play to their strengths here and while somewhat too eager to please, they do manage to do so in the way that they coast along on the rhythm. There is a dazzling array to the playing on “Can You Hear Me Calling?” What is factored in on that front is how the music graces the intro. The sound on it is well reasoned out here with a weight on it that muscles in finely. They deliver it in a way that has the deserved impact. Nothing about this is wishful thinking. It shows a grand design and the true running of it captivates and shows through on it here. There is no let up or reprieve granted and it is all the better for it. With “In The Room Tonight” there is a gracious feel from the guitar as it is fed in. That gives a good hold to it all. Another thing that is notable about this one is the way it is allowed breathe and build. That is down in part to the tight showing but also the careful display about it showing their ability to play. They elicit a tamer sound on “No Surrender”. It is flushed out by the guitar and drumming and there is a tremendous point where the two meet on it. That clasps around the whole of the sound. Another thing that the band does very well here is turn up on the harmonies. That is a trait that is able to complement all the sides finely. The timings to it are also well managed. With their closing track “Free” there is something respectable that comes to the fore. The stray feel to it is able to allow the guitar to build up big on it. From there they seize the initiative. The free roll to this one is quite well played and gives a good set from the band the reputable bounce to see it all out.
SCENE & HEARD
onight as the snow fell from the clouds I understood the true importance of what The Ruby Sessions is all about. The admission paid every night goes towards The Simon Community and that is what separates it from all the other club nights in the city. For that reason alone we are very humbled to be associated with such a good night of music.
The The Ruby Sessions Ruby Sessions
The Harbour (22-02-13) Doyle’sBar, BarBray (26-03-13) DAVE WATSON
To start us off this evening was DAVE WATSON performing as SQUARE REVOLUTION. From the very beginning of his set here tonight it was all set in motion for him. He delivered well on his opening song “Pattern”. Here we see the emotion fall across on it all and evenly spread out. That is captured on both fronts from the lyrics and the vocals, but it adheres to a trusty structure when it comes to the tempo here. That sincerity is able to comply with the performance and lead the direction of the playing cleanly. The second song in his set here is called “Walking Back” and has an incisive feel to it. He manages to capture something delicate with how it is all structured. This is what gives it a calling and the steady tempo about it plays to the strengths here. With the fullness of the lyrics it is all able to conjure up a pleasance to it all that is retained in the flight of the performance. Getting its first live play was “The Sweetest Blood”. Handsomely strummed into being, the make-up of the song has a delicate nature that is delightfully styled. What presents is sweet and sentimental yet made up of substance and reckoning. “Hole In Your Tongue” has a smart ane earnest feel to the opening. The intro wraps around it and warmly embraces it. From there the outline of it is all well shaped and catchy when the pace picks up. Here he begins to show an impressive and expansive side to him as an artist. There is an abundant weight on show in the process here. A quicker song closed out his set here and the difference in the rhythm was very marked. This showed a good hold to it in the freer style that breaks down nicely. The smartly judged way shows good tracking when it all pieces back together after dropping down.
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The The Ruby Sessions Ruby Sessions
The Harbour (22-02-13) Doyle’sBar, BarBray (26-03-13)
THE YOUNG FOLK
THE YOUNG FOLK are a regular act that plays here and each time we see them play they always put on a top drawer show. Tonight was no different to any other time with the exception that it was the full line-up here this evening. They pour the class on with “Grown” and there is a magnificent display about their whole performance here. When the violin courses across on it a true touch of class is added, but it all marvels when it picks up. The musical combinations on show to it here display an incredible array musically. That sets up “Wolves” nicely. The pleasance from it is an inspired turn that has a definitive vocal display backing it up. The contentment of it all builds with a grand testament that shows in the compassion that rallies. They throw in some folk aspects just before closing it that bring some charm, but the abundance of the live delivery is what gives it presence. “Letters” is a scintillating tune that is graceful in the harmony that announces it. The playing from the band shows a high standard that elevates things from an intimate point of view.
The expertise on show intrinsically brings out the best and displays a sharp show from the band. “I’ve Been Here Before” is well spaced among the acoustic guitar in a way that cushions in all the playing and vocals. Here is the framework within which everything on show is built around. How it all falls in to place is an undoubtedly fine display. There is a humble feel to it and that earnest quality serves the live aspect of it all well. They then closed with “Way Down South”. Here is a blissful track that has a saunter about it and the manner of the arrangement on show is suitably impressive. The grandiose side of it is carefully balanced and remarkable in how it picks up. This allows the melody to permeate delightfully and show a good command of things from the band. They have just re-released their debut album “The Little Battle” which we reviewed in our February issue. It is an album that any fan of real music should have in their collection.
SCENE & HEARD THE YOUNG Making a returnFOLK to The Ruby Sessions was LOUISE KILLEEN and she eased into her set with “Ease Up On Me Dear”. This is a sweet song and it follows things decisively. The colourful and creative side of it checks in with a style that is not necessarily country in how it is styled, but it flirts very close with it. The Sapphic yearnings in the lyrics don’t shy away on it but the song is able to combine the lyrics with the play that shows a classy side in a big way here. There is something routed in the positive tone of next song “Coalmines” that brings out the sorrowful in a fashionable way. The lyrics breathe life into it in a forthright and leading way that makes it all the more reliant. The yearning side of the content is also able to impart itself well on proceedings. The composure is held well also. “Appletinis” pursues a delightful approach that keeps the playing side of it within a respectful conditioning. Here the rhythm shows a bright bounce to it all. When it does it also happens upon a decisive angle
The The Ruby Sessions Ruby Sessions
The Harbour (22-02-13) Doyle’sBar, BarBray (26-03-13) comes into the reckoning. That then shows well for the descriptive tale that is told within the lyrics. The tone is gathered finely on “Starstruck” and is able to inject a good hook into the delivery. The collective way of it all shows a figurative formation at work. There is a lavish feel to the ramble and how the lyrics run underlines this. What the combined play also does here is take hold of everything in a rather descriptive way that is noticeable for all the right reasons. Her new single “Charming Hands”. There is a real strength that is followed through with the more rounded tempo on show here. The observations in the lyrics also give a lighter side of the song a true lift. There is an alarming elegance in this approach that comes off with an even keel. That is helped by a good sense of timing that weighs in smartly on it all here. Up next from LOUISE KILLEEN is a gig on May 24th in The Mercantile and her new album “Brilliant Tease” is also on release. That will be included in the May issue of U&I Music Magazine.
The King Kong Club (semi-final 2) The Ruby Sessions
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The Mercantile The Harbour Bar, Bray (22-02-13) Friday 22nd, March 2013
Seven acts were playing here tonight and all of them intent on grabbing a coveted spot in the final of the biggest music competition on the Dublin music scene. The calibre of artist taking to the completion over the last few weeks has been of an incredibly high standard. The competition is very simple. Each act taking to the stage tonight plays just three songs and then they leave their faith in the hands of the clap-o-meter.
ALTER JUNE: The first song in their set opens with a fine guitar. There is a military hold coming off the tempo. The pace on flies off on it and it seems to craft a lean build to it that solidifies it all. The heavier aspects of their sound are acknowledged by them on this. With that eager keel to things they are able to produce it all for their live performance here and maintain a velocity about it all. ALTER JUNE
The vibrant and energised style that the band has is then reflected in their next song “Addiction”. The hard style of it is kicked along and the vocals steer it toward a side that manages to let out a darker side here. The rhythm of it is tied down and marked out by that tough streak. There is composure in the performance here that sees the guitar chew up the scenery and drive it all forward. The final song in their set list was “Mislaid”. The hook on show works for it very well here and it muscles in on the play in a way that gives them a sense of authority. From there they display a comfortable side in the playing. The gothic and metal side shows a good design in their set-up. That is a considerate approach that has a solid layout folded up inside the tempo.
VANCOUVER DRIVE was the next band to play here at The
Mercantile. They opened up with “Another Say” that has a bright and mesmerising start that takes in a nice touch in how the rhythm is built up. The steadiness of it all sets it up well and forms a considerable playing side that stands out. What also works here is the manner in how the vocal delivery serves it well. There is a reverence felt from it that pushes a lot more out on show. They begin to ease into the set well with it and call the shots well with “Dreamers”. Here the sweeping style of their play catches things well, and the better side of what the band is all about begins to play out. The subjective side to their sound expresses the playing on show in a definitive way. What this allows for is the strengths of the band to come to the fore and show what they are about. The final track of their three was “Fly”. This has a brush off the playing that sizzles. With the swathes from the drum and bass they demonstrate a neat and tidy hold over the whole process. That builds it in a readymade way, but the gradual progression to it obtains everything well on it here. With how descriptive it sounds they then began to show why they are here at the semi-final. From this display you can see that they are true contenders and the quality of this tune is indisputable. It exemplifies true class with the way it all touches the bases here.
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The King Kong Club (semi-final 2) The Ruby Sessions
The Mercantile The Harbour Bar, Bray (22-02-13) Friday 22nd, March 2013 NELLA DWYER was the only solo artist on the billing tonight. The piano on “All About You” is abundantly and imaginatively structured and works favourably on the intro here. There is a comfort to be found in her voice and it shines here big time. There is a concise feel about it all and the conveyance in her lyrics close in around the playing with the lightest of touches. That allows for something to be felt for the song by the listener. The second song from her was “Little Child” which clasps an integral hold and places it upon things in a way that tees things up lavishly. The playing is well spaced and the strokes on the key work serve it well. All of the finer points are underlined by the direction and the adorable tempo that filters through. The hollow and deep sound flows well on it here, with the soothing voice giving it an enamoured reach that entwines a stillness that sells it here. An a capello style opens “All In This Together” and shows a unified vocal delivery. The styling of it here brings a goodliness to it here, with the rich way about it all placing an idyllic feel to it. What also moves it is in how the narrative of the lyrics impress upon it to give everything on show a magnificent virtue.
CLOVER COAST took to the stage next and “Questions” was the song that got their set underway. Here they secure a lot with the intro. The imaginative way that it is all worked allows them to bring it forth in a timely fashion. That results in an exemplary feel from it that is carried off by the free style of their playing. There is also a broad scope to all of the playing that conveys an enigmatic approach at work. While it creates a milder sound it also comes through on it all in way that shows true pragmatism at work. It is in their next track “Too Pretty To Be Homeless” that they show the mettle. This is a catchy little number that applies the blues to it all in a hard way, yet at the same time it manages to whip it all into shape. The rhythm on it focuses all of this side of things and it surges ahead on the strength of it all. The intense way they manage to bring things forward is done with a lean display that manages to bring more out of their stage presence in the process. The well-connected showing here is a wellconditioned affair that has the credibility it deserves showing through. A protest song closed their set. “Bloodshed Or Politics” draws the playing out at the beginning, but from there a strong placement is able to allow the release of the playing bring out a great deal more. There is a ruminating feel to it in how it sounds. The guitar on show and the rhythm here are able to bring something formidable to the equation that stands out. There is a harder side to their playing here on account of this and it makes you listen to what the song is about all the more.
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The King Kong Club (semi-final 2) The Ruby Sessions
The Mercantile The Harbour Bar, Bray (22-02-13) Friday 22nd, March 2013
Following them was OKI’S WAGON. What they show in their opening track “Need Your Love So Bad” is the ability to take a cover version of a FLEETWOOD MAC song and give it a sense of style that suits the qualities of the band amicably. The classy and smooth way to it all is able to gravitate with a tight hold on show applying the descriptive method to seduce the listener. The passive feel to it steps out and saunters along captivatingly. The classy depth to it all makes you feel for it. They then steady things again with “In The Still Of The Night”. This slinks along and shows a much broader stroke in the sound of it all. The banjo applied on it compresses the sound somewhat here and reaches out on the sound of it all. The stationary way that the band seem to style it all is also a knack that sets the soulful side of it all out well. They elegantly seem to steer all of the playing on this one and the handsome method brings out the extra things in terms of tone here. What is also displayed is a steadfast composure that manages to dazzle and impress while retaining that closeness. They then pick up the pace on their final track “Jelly Rolls”. Here they display a rich arrangement in all the descriptive ways that finely play across on it. There is a tantalising way about the freedom in the movement s and how they settle upon it all here. They pummel along and the tumble from the playing touches out everything pleasantly on it here. WUNDERBRA seemed to bring something different about them from the very beginning. There was something energised about their performance here on the night that impressed in a big way. There is a Latin feel to “Improve My Bust”, but with the synth sound behind it a comparison with SALT’N’PEPA is made. The confident and vibrant stage presence is a bona fide trait that makes the most of their style. The drum machine kicks in nicely on this and merges with the synth score on it all in a way that creates a formidable tempo. They close in on this and tidily hang things upon it. This is high on the retro but in the delivery they manage to bag something about it all that edges it out interestingly. They then continue with the scintillating style of their performance with “Sip, Taste, Gulp”. They chase things down and match the lyrics and the tempo with a true zest. The zip to it all is produced here. The imaginative side to it stokes it up and they take it all in their stride. The way everything comes together occupies their moment on stage and they make the most of it. What is also an impressive feature about this is the manner in how they show they can go the distance.
They then closed out with a cover of “Love Is A Battlefield” by PAT BENATAR. There is a great amount of merit to be found here because they lock it down. The investment in the performance matches their image and they siphon off the best in it to show they are a band that could be the complete package.
SCENE & HEARD POLICY was the final band to play on the night. “Pistachios” showed something from them that is both creative and inspired in how they find the right way of carrying it off. The twists and turns in the play catch something about unique about it in just the right way. The rhythm from the drumming is a high point on it, but it is how things come to match up on it that comes up trumps for it here. “Otters Strangled Moose” has a casual feel to it. By reverting everything inward on it they delightfully tease out the sound. The pedal work about it all is cleverly laid on. That is done in a very subtle way. While there is something laboured about the sound they go beyond it by producing something comparative. They do that by embracing the progressive and alternative side and it all shows for it. The boon that is on show to their closing tune “Gibberish” is excellent. The guitar is largely placed across on the sound. The produces a stellar showing from the drum and bass that frames it all. The core ingredients of the playing illuminate and come across smartly on it here. The vocals are also another feature that gives it a good styling. However, it is the confidence displayed in the whole delivery that catches. By having the belief in their ability the band are able to produce the catchy side but also mesmerise with the live display and performance.
The King Kong Club (semi-final 2) The Ruby Sessions
The Mercantile The Harbour Bar, Bray (22-02-13) Friday 22nd, March 2013
The winner on the night was WUNDERBRA and we would like to extend our congratulations to them. They go on to join THE MIDNIGHT UNION BAND in the final. We would also like to say well done to all of the other acts on the night as they all played an incredible part in a great night of live music.
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HARD ROCK GLOBAL RISING FINAL The Ruby Sessions The Harbour Bar, Bray (22-02-13) Hard Rock Café Dublin (21-03-13)
THE BOUNTY HUNTERS were the first of the four finalists that THE FOLK took toYOUNG the stage. They had approached it with the right mind set and got into the spirit of the occasion by donning superhero costumes for it. They play in to “Beginnings” with an a capello opening before a sharp and full on rhythm takes hold and puts the necessary spring into their step. The composure shown here is all relayed and the emphasis is placed into a good vocal showing. The rock side of things has a considerable notability about it all. That compact quality swings with precision and the lively aspect of it is collected well here. There is a slight novelty in how “The Leading Clown” sounds but in closer inspection it also shows substance to the simple tempo and arrangement. That tidy show then opens up and produces a harder, faster sound. This ties down the rock element quite well. The flow to it follows a formula that delights the crowd, but also branches out with calculated hooks that test the waters. A lean sound is again felt on “Mine To Take”. The rhythm to this one has a controlled showing that rolls along and breathes into life. The vibrancy is related into their performance here in a big way. The way it is pieced together nicely steps out. There are sharp licks from the lead guitar showing on the bridge, but the overall collective sound reflects something with a resourceful degree to the whole of it. They finely deliver on the intro of next song “Shut Up And Kiss Me”. There is a composure about it all that finds its feet off the back of the tidy rhythm that is on show to it all here. There is a clean set of heels to it all and the drumming in particular personifies this. The togetherness that is shown becomes a little more stylish when the chorus kicks in. There is a big play feel to it that goes a long way and they also worked the crowd well with this one. To see them out they played a cover of “Mr Blue Sky” by ELO that positively bursts through in a big way. They get everything right about it here and truly went for it with the performance.
................................................................................................................... MR. SANDS were our next band on the night. The energetic opening to “Don’t Stop Me” brings a force from the guitar that resonates across in it. What it then becomes is a leaner sound as it blazes across. It is equally matched by the way that the lyrics follow through here. Everything that follows through on here shows with a true swagger about it, and the drumming and guitar prove to be something significant in how the tempo on it is created. The way it all thunders across is helped by the animated performance all round here. “Northbound” is pristine and straight shooting. The frenetic delivery flies well with the astute pace of it all. This pulses the rock sound of things all the way. While edgy and raw it is still locked down tightly. They don’t put a foot wrong here and the big momentum coming across on it gives a good showing to it all. A medley then followed. First there was “Get Back” by THE BEATLES which then shot into “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” from LCD SOUNDSYSTEM and rounded out by “You Really Got Me” by THE KINKS. Here they show a good talent for handling a crowd and turning on the charm.
They then burst through with an explicit kick and sense of authority on “Right Behind”, yet at the same time it seems to drift and create a trippy feel to it all as the rhythm drops down on it. There is a fine hang to it here and a feeling of it being done right in how everything begins to steady off. There is a heightened sense from the trajectory on it that evokes, while at the same being reserved enough to still keep the sting in the tail. They clock in well with their final track here. The abounding feel from “Broken Bond” chalks up finely. There is an energy invested in it and the compatibility throughout shows here. The timings also show a lot of good tracking going on. What remains is a stark and much realised state of affairs that makes good on it all by bringing the flair to their set.
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HARD ROCK GLOBAL RISING FINAL The Ruby Sessions The Harbour Bar, Bray (22-02-13) Hard Rock Café Dublin (21-03-13)
STONE TRIGGER looked the part and played the part on THE YOUNG FOLK the night. With “Masquerade” they cruise into the playing. There is a suave bass line on it that draws a lot out from the intro. From this point they rip into things. Everything is built around the sound here and is all fused in a typified rock style. The spirit of the performance is faultless and brings a complete aspect to their set. Everything is still kept in check on “Seven Deadly Sins” and they check in with a staunch number here. This rouses and radiates as it hits everything head on. The pomp to it shows a good deal and you feel that here is a band very much the real deal. The convincing way that they bring the charisma into the performance here is well figured out. “Gotta Get It On” is a track featured on their EP and the ferocity of it hits you immediately. There is tenacity on show with the rhythm. The good lift on it all sees them take command of the stage. That presence is enhanced by the energised drumming and guitar that sees the bridge storm through. The richness of it flows. It is all well-directed by the rhythm and lead guitars. They contain all of this very well and that is reflected in the direction it all takes. Then to close out they played the classic “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” by POISON. This brought things to a little bit of a standstill. The cosy proceedings settled in well with their show here and it was a fine cap to put on things here.
............................................................................................................................ RAFFIKI seem to calculate a picturesque stature into it all in how “Hollow Charm” is conceived. This is pieced together smartly off the back off the acoustic guitar and allows the progression to build finely from there. The definition comes across on it. They also seem to inject a needy way to it but it is a strength that they play well to here. This is the hand that they play bit it shows a resolute quality to it all. The second song in their set was “Open the Close”. This is marked out by how the furrowed guitar creates a stationary feel to it. That closeness is an underlying trait to it all and imposes something obligatory about it. What it then goes on to show is a playing style that has a figurative approach set out for it. This is then balanced by the moderation that holds nicely on it all. It creates a safe sentiment but the good tangle from how it plays also makes it sound satisfactory and intuitive. Things are tempered in finely on “Purple Bag”. There is something smooth that careens from it. They ride out the playing. While it is something that is brief here it displays a lot of qualities that signify it as a tune worthy of consideration and future listening. The sterling rhythm that opens the intro on “Mrs. Dolloway” collectively shows. It then becomes a piano focussed affair that captivates off the back off the vocal delivery. The exposed feel to it conveys something internalised in the lyrics. That progresses in a notable way that allows for the sound to build around it here. The tender moments that are on show to it here are also quite specific and show well. To close out their set they played “Disinter”. The arrangements on it are dispensed finely. With the placing of the shared vocals also proving to be a good call. They tend to hold back on the play, but that is deliberate to allow for the vocals to rise up on it and put a face upon the track here. It proves to be a song that holds up. The other thing that stands for it is the broadness when it all comes in. This then shows how well all the parts are played on it here. As this was the final of the competition it meant that there had to be a winner. Mr Sands took second place on the night and the outright winner was RAFFIKI. We would like to extend our congratulations to them and wish them the best in the further stages of the competition.
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Just No The Ruby Sessions The Harbour Bar, Bray (22-02-13) Whelan’s (15-03-13)
JUST NO FOLK THE YOUNG We have seen a good deal of this band on the live circuit and we are familiar with what they are about. Tonight was the launch of their single “Where You Come From” and a packed out Whelan’s turned out to see them play. The warmth from the opening on “Only You” is able to bring an alarming start out of it all. The qualities to it all teem and have a figurative position upon it all. That matches up with the delivery on this and the stage presence of the band sets in motion what they are all about. The song itself is a tasty and catchy affair that has catchy riffs on show. The drumming has a fine roll to it that amplifies the appeal a great deal. They then lend something to next song “Even Mistake” in the way that it all plays. The finesse of the rhythm is broke down finely and underlined by the drum/bass combo that drops in sweetly on it. The general jilty way to it all is highly appealing and showcases their growing reputation as a live band. There is a lot to like about “Test The Waters”. The way it skips along forms a trusty and pleasing sound. What marks it out is how they stare it down. When the chorus comes in it brings a degree of excellence into the performance here. Here they show a well worked stage show also. They trace it all out finely. When they really dig in on it they produce a catchy number, but that is all down to them putting in the ground work on it all. They then played the relatively new song “Bus Driver” next. The harmony on it allows the laid back sound to benefit. How good it serves it all here allows it to turn in and take flight. The straight way to how it plays makes the right moves here. There is something exquisite to be felt from it that is measured out in a soothing way on it here. The style gives off a sense of catharsis. A big title borrowed from a Leaving Certificate history book, “Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile”, shows a softer side to their sound. There is also a synth score on show to it all that spills out on it in a good way. They seem to relax into the playing on this one and the pick-up on it all is well-timed. The frail feel off the sound is coined well by the band. It forsakes it in a rather distinguished way that is given the necessary kick when needed. “Say You’ve Got Something For Me” bursts forth from the playing style. The delivery has an urgency about it that it keeps to well and gives a good account of it all in the process. Everything comes off on it for them and the resonance to the guitar wheels away impressively in the background. This is a juicy affair and combines well as a big tune from the band that is underlined by their ability in the delivery. There is something internal coming from “Cold Winters” and it raises their game on the surface. The conflict in how it sounds is what gives it a sense of identity. They are careful in how it is all turned in here. That also ticks the right boxes here is the quaint appeal that it has. “The More You Run2 brings in some more of these novel qualities. It all comes together from the off and the stray warmth from it is immediately felt here. It is one of those songs that can apply everything about it quite well. The delivery plays to the strengths of the band
here. The consolidation of it all is notable and the raw side of it evokes a punk nature that the band may have. They then play a quiet song in “Thank You”. The minimalist approach undertaken here serves it well. It allows for a sheltered way to it remain contained from the nice way it is drawn out here. The way it is all keyed in by them here, albeit the minimalist approach, still retains an effective trick to it all in the way the light touches on show bring out the right things on it. Their new single “Where You Come From” was next. We also included the video for it in our March 4x4 on our YouTube channel. The drumming gives it shape and within this is the margin all the play situates. Although what needs to be mentioned is that it in no way confines or restricts anything on it but merely acts as a guide on it. The guitar rhythm to it is followed through on it and everything else about it equates well. There is also a fine whip on show when required. Another point of note about it is the ethereal feel from the crisp sound and the message in the lyrics. As sincerely felt loom on the intro announces “Circles”. The casual governance to it is traced out by the reserved approach to it that rises to give it bounce when needed. A loom is also evident in the sound. What is also clever is the way that it catches the aspects needed to give it appeal. In particular thee calypso styling on show to it superbly brings out the best in it. Then “Feels Like Home” gives a safe appeal to everything. It notches all of the playing up well and the keyboard breezes it all out. This has a broad and defined side to offer the bass line and drumming. The impression it gives is one of spaciousness with the bridge playing with a pace well suited to the tempo. This proved a fine number to close on before they played a cover of “No One Knows” by QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. Here they nail everything down pat and tear the roof off the building. The performance here invests everything and they cash it in with real splendour.
CONOR LINNIE Astray
The album draws you in with the opening track “Moths”. The feverish way that the folk elements cross over on it is immediately felt. The rhythm to this is wistfully played out and the conveyance of it is defined by the strong tone exhibited by the manner that the sound all floods through here. The richness of the guitar meeting Dobro elements is a particularly handsome approach that gives to it all a flush feel that blends in with a true swoop. The next track here is called “Crash Bandicoot Blues” and it seems to parlay a rich texture to how the style of it is all laid on. The fast based side to it is cradled here with the necessary aplomb and is a tune to watch out for. The spin on it handles well and it rolls finely off the back of this. The signature blues show a serious talent at work and the token feel to it withstands any criticism because it nails it finely. What also sells it here is the colourful way it is all carried off. That rich feel repeats on the styling of “Gossamer Girl”. Here his voice is more of a prominent feature that finely partakes in the progression of the song. The violin stretching out across the sound is something that articulates the sound finely here. The way that it is all captured is ample and the procession that follows musically finely relaxes into the arrangement. The lovely qualities of this are easily identified and it has a quaint way in which it all takes off. That is followed by “Cherry Blossom Bloom” is a song that seems to have a high swoon factor going for it. The fleeting way that the playing forms on this is sweetly embraced. There is a kick to it that richly steers out the direction of the playing. The melody in the rhythm is a sharp turn from the artist here that serves it well. The satisfactory way that it all combines lets it fall into the warm folds in the music here. That is an allowance the displays something extravagant in the process. “The Fire I’m Kindling” favourably brings in the playing. There is a tumble to it that has a fine recall to it. The spry acoustic rhythm on show is contained and it has a contented side to it that it relays into the song here. That is what gives the tune the necessary spirit. The crest fallen showing from the lyrics here also exact upon this song in a meaningful way.
10 With “Sweet Nothings” something about the sound seems to become more directed away. With the play being channelled here in a more concise way it also has a flourish to it all. The leaner way that the lyrics impress here are a good trait that hold it in a delicate way. The feeling and closeness to it all easily merge in a way that sees the song melt into the playing as a whole. “In Articulate Atrophy” a spring is felt from the way the playing becomes more prominent and privileged. The cut to it is sharper and it is laced with a more defined style. The harmonica gives to it a sense of rich Americana that seems to see it up its game. The barren rhythm on show here is stoked from the delivery. What is also impressive is how articulate it all sounds here. The agitated vocals are also able to flesh it out in particular way here that thunders through as the pace picks up. With “Astray” there sharp way that the guitar comes across instantly works. There is a taut sound to it that never leaves the song. The consistency of it and presence gives the song a clear design that manages to expand the track. The definite way that it all rolls confidently brings a sense of reckoning to the mix for the artist here. What is also a stand out aspect to this one is the way that the tune steps out. An effortless tone seems to come across and you get lost in the way it dangles the playing. The final track on the album here is “Praying Mantis”. Here the wholesome side to his set seems to come to the fore. A display of rich blues is invested here and the characteristic way that the song is styled here brings a timely feel to it. What it also shows is a magnitude in the playing that applies itself here in a way that brings a restrained tone, yet it also promotes itself with the voice here. The depth of the playing and the licks that it figures in to things here work exceptionally well for it.
DAVID HOPE Scarecrow
The 2011 “What The Folk” winner’s album is one that shows why he is held in such high regard as a singer-songwriter. The opening track on the album breaks through with such aplomb that it makes you sit up and take notice. “Hell Or High Water” makes the song its own. The playing has a ramble from the guitar playing, yet there is a conviction that comes through on his voice. That creates an earnest yearning to it that exerts upon the song in a way that gets it going. A steady take is felt from it here and rolls out something that imaginatively creates the tempo yet holds onto it dearly. “Fall And Rise” seems to bring an edge to things. Here the gravelly tone of his voice is evident. While it sits well on it, there is a lot to be said for the hard way that playing is doctored in on things here. Being able to spring forth in the way that it does keeps a consistent flow to it all. Lyrically it is a polished affair also that measures every moment on it all with true precision. That is why it picks up as well as it does. The third track here is “These Days” and it is marked out by the rich way it spins. It has a controlled and tempered styling to it that falls into place. With the cursive way that the playing escaping on the delivery it marks the right points on it the way they should be. The rhythm to it evokes a rich input of the blues that seem to be a good turn on it that complete it in a way that rises up to meet it all. With the taut styling of the guitar on “Scarecrow” the mood is matched with the vocal display. The sombre channelling of everything on here shows an array of defining qualities. The lyrics conjure something on the vivid front, yet it is all in the way that it picks up that a reverence is shown on it. Here the more upbeat tempo tailors finely here and the wiry way that it all sounds taps into the potential. There is a lean sound to it here and a meaner showing that arrives to make itself known. Then a more positive playing style works on “Daybreak Someplace”. This has a more dedicated and imaginative feel to it. The lyrics have a reticence to them and there is something about it in how it all breaks down that keeps everything moving forward. There is a lushness to be felt from how it all plays but it also encapsulates something to it here that catches and expresses it all finely. “See The Ghost” has a rich folk feel to it. The picked up pace runs on it and doesn’t seem to let up. Here the scintillating play captivates and reaches out in a truly fronted way. The blistering pace blazes across on it and sits well with the Southern aspects of what is intended. “Let Her Go” is another short showing on the album yet it
as a softer nature to it. The assured feel to it stores the sentiment well and the arrangement of it all keeps the languid hold on it carefully placed. Applying the rhythm as it is done allows for the tempo to express the freer aspects of the handling finely. Then “Chasing Time” seems to evoke an honest turn from the play. The near hold that the guitar keeps gives it an isolated feel that is then matched up well by the compact way of the lyrics and vocals. There is a good trade on show here with how they combine. The exactness to the beat is also a point of note here. What is lined out for the song it follows well and that is why it has the likeable saunter it does. “Let It Flow” has a fine climb to it that is expressed evenly and cleanly in the guitar. Here there is a reverence to it that looks out on it. The way that the play is chased down here is also patiently done. What also stand out on it are the vocals and their pleasant application on it here, and the song is rich in sentiment for all the aspects that are on show. A true kick announces “Cloak And Daggers” that has a hustle and bustle about it. It all holds together here with a true commendable structure. That is something that then gives way to allow a narrower feel in the sound to take over on it. “Somebody Else’s Mind” carries itself in a way that puts a good face on it all. It also closes the album with something that sits alongside the quieter aspects of the playing. The tender way that it all renders is able to fall into place with the weighted sentiment of the lyrics. Mapping things out and adhering to what is intended tells on it here. It also drives it on and the reflective feel to it manages to captivate finely.
THE FITZAFRENIC Chew The Fuse
This is an album that we have been eager to hear on account of how often we have seen this band perform live over the last three months. “Joe Aggro” gets things going here and it storms into it with a true injection of pace that puts it all in. They play to their strengths here and the way that it all comes around is a true defining feature on it. The habitual way that the rhythm is tapped out here finely does so. With the compact elements boxed cleanly the heart of the song is exceptionally expressed on this. The kick to “Full Moon Party” paints things well. What sparkles on it is the way that the dazzling and competent structure of it aligns. The smooth and silky draw to it is marked out by the keyboard and saxophone worked in on the sound. Another song in their repertoire that goes down well in their live sets, here it also works the magic just as cleanly. “Fancy Dress” then follows. Marked out by a quaint and quirky feel, there are a lot of credentials on show with the playing ability. There is a scatty guitar that drops back, while the impressive and figurative rhythm walks it. The overlay of it boxes clever and it has this formidable feel to it that is unmistakeable. “Sneaky” stores up something in the way the sax plays into it. From there the jazz ensemble feel to it locates upon it in a specific way. The heightened style of it brings out the funky side, while also having this pleasant old-school feel to it that ticks over in the playing. The tempo has a bold structure to it and the dandy elements bring out the best in it. With “KS My Ass” they bag it up. The cruising and carefree style to it is a big deal on it. It radiates and slides along. Here the optimism moves and the mechanics of the body come alive on it. The saxophone is a focal point on the bridge, while the way that it is all contained showcase the true talent of the band. “One Can Van Damme” has a candid beat to it that imaginatively makes good use of their Caribbean influences. The calypso side of the play gives way and a heavier hitting style comes in to the mix. The anthem like quality of it is descriptive, while the calypso elements on show are also expertly applied. This is one of those songs that tease everything out in equal measure.
“Walk Tall” smoothly falls into line. The high points in the playing are matched by catchy hooks. The collective way that it all shows here rises to the top on it. There is a flight of fancy about it and the way that the catchy side of it is canvassed occupies the rhythm in a way that covets. By doing so they are able to cleanly concentrate the things they want to show, but also allow them to let the music do the talking. On “What They Don’t Tell You” they carry the swagger off finely. The song is easy to get carried away with. The fortified rhythm dilates and it carries a specific weight to it here that fires it up commendably. The rich styling of the saxophone breathes life into “Dr. Bad”. The running to it is precise and has a full on hitch to it that shows the imaginative and creative side of the band well. The investment in the sound hits the spot. The precision in the timings is underlined with the roll off the guitar that resonates, but the even way the drumming rounds things out gives the rhythm the necessary feeling. The final track on the album here is “Cruisin’ For A Bluesin’” and it magnificent struts. The well played and proud side to it allows it to walk tall. The consummate way it is all styled oozes a distinguished level of class and it carries off the right moments here finely. The tempo exhibits everything and is lit up by the way the rhythm is managed on it in a big way. Holding in the way that it does is underlined by the crisp drum and bass set out for it, but the other sides of the playing hold their part and play it well also.
Album Reviews KAPLIN
Devastating Ways KAPLIN are one of the bands on the Dublin scene that seem to have an aura about them when they perform live that sets them apart from a lot of their contemporaries. Their album underlines this point and they begin things with “Falling Down Your Stairs”. As the playing bleeds out the lyrics has an intensity that finely lies upon the song in a way that brings something scintillating from the music. The raw feel from it all here happens in a way that smartly forces things through. With the flight to it all the grandiose style of it is better understood on it and becomes a more compatible figuration here. “Easy Lover” then seems to adopt a more languished approach. Taking things more slowly there is a stillness that is magnified on the tempo that cleanly reaches out. A sense about loss is felt with the way that the song is chased and outlined. Walking in the playing here works well for it. Stirring things is the piano and violin arrangement on it and they soothe things. “Frozen Sand” resonates with the stirring and fleeting process that the playing seems to follow through with. Some of the aspects of it here denote a Mediterranean flair and the brass playing gives it a fanfare that matches well on it here. That gives it a warmer and more luxurious account that brings it out more. “Stolen Angels” seems to float. The string arrangement on it seems to retain an innate quality to it that patents a finer tempo. With that factored into it all here it is allowed to branch out. What also works well is the deeper sounding guitar that flies on it. With the arrangements combining here when they do they seem to add the necessary flavour. The catchment of it all is an impressive showing from the band. They then bring something of the more morose to the intro to “Devastating Ways” but then it gives way to allow a comforting sound come through. The contentment derived from the way that the playing is weighted in carries a blissful tone that shines on this. The credit has to go to the band because this dutifully plays while keeping the protected feel to in plainly in view. Then that slower catchment gives way to “Rumble Of Rosary”. This takes off and the rhythm to it is hard and laid on here with the most savage of intention. Charging things up it then carries the song forward and puts some welcome pace successfully into the whole process. The endeavour is a smart state of affairs in terms of how it sounds and seems to flirt between different directions in a way that has a lingering allure.
With “Pylons, Purples And Pinks” they begin to transgress in terms of style. The collective way that this one combines well with the playing of the rhythm and tempo capitalises on the ability of the band. A lean guitar fondly lights up on it, while the sparse way that the brass section imposes upon things here fixates something lavish about the sound with a lavish focus that is fixed cleanly. There is a pretty and articulate styling to “Turnstile In The Road”. The play seems to dissolve into this, yet at the same time it all seems to find a place when doing so. The structure to this one epitomises a fine turn from the band. An avalanche of tempered and fluid music comes to the fore here that languishes upon it all. What shows through on that front makes the difference to the lyrics and their positioning on it here. A display of true consideration is next in “Graveyard Lounge”. The looping fashion of all the play meets the brass section on it with a true vigour. Smooth and clean in how it all moves around, it is in the laid back and gradual feel to it that the true strengths of it lie. The way that the playing is placed here imposes upon but does so with a true showing of class. “Midnight In Brazil” has a jolt in the way the intro hangs and carries. The vocals hit it with a precision that warmly hold still on it. Embracing that and when placed alongside the looming arcs of play they thread all of the elements finely through here. There is a taut ability that pushes out things on it and they tap into the potential with a certainty that brings it confidently along. The closer on the album is a track called “The Road Rarely Runs Out Of Signs”. A perfumed release comes from it and the turn of events in the playing flow from the intro. The given feel to it is fondly felt here with the patient way that it builds washing over in places. There is a timely likeability to it that cursively blends things in when it plays. The gradual build is marked out with how it opens out. The heft from the snapped playing style tumbles finely for it. The harpsichord that resonates on the playing gives it an ambient layer that soothes and suits.
A Dead Man On My Back: Shine Honesty Revisited The unsigned band is a recommendation from our Texas based music network and this is a re-mastering of their debut work. The album opens with “How Many Times Do You Want To Be In Love?” and it has this gentle approach in the opening that lightly sets up the song here. Therein is where the magic of it all is to be found. A patient build occurs on it here and as the grander playing elements are fed into it all the song electrifies as it opens out. For an opener this is a great step forward from the band it must be said. “Fashionabel” has a wonderful organ arrangement on it that fruitfully brings out the best in it all. Here the song shows a tempered stance on all fronts when it comes to how it sounds. All the musical features to this here are fastened with a decadence that harbours the essence of it all. The whole song is helped on by the manner in which it is all harboured by the band and invested into the tune by them. There is a certainty about it when you listen to it and it is marked out by the fact that none of it here is taken for granted. This is well-polished by the band and is a track with a luxurious feel to it, but one that very much gets it right. The shapely piano arrangement on “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History” says a lot about the band. This creates a hold within the sound that they maintain through some elaborate spacings and detailed working that soothes as it plays in. The tempo to it here is a true selling point, with the band ably imparting the sentiment and verse with a condensed ability that judges it well in the delivery. In particular the moment on the bridge where it steps out a little bit more. With next track “Tie Your Monster Down” the opening to it languishes. The song buys a lot of the right things with the reasonable way it sounds. That comes down to how the build-up on it is managed. There is an even keel to it here that opens out. In doing so it keeps hold of the narrative and then brings a more narrowed down flow that is tailored here in a way that is uncompromising in how it forages ahead. The other selling point to it is how calm it is and that the restrained feel to it is something that doesn’t flatter to deceive. There is something about the rapturous way “. ...Then Came a Sudden Validation” opens that it captivates you immediately. There is something promising in the finesse that takes hold of everything on show here that makes the most of the composure on show. There is a tenderness to it that takes hold. From there the band keep things within a structure that shows a capability to it all. Things show a side to them that is capable of stepping up to the plate when asked with how they show their ability on “I Was Humming a New Song to Myself”. Here they keep everything in check but there is also something more deliberate and demanding that comes across from them. The direction it seems to move in is one that warrants a harder side to it all. That is coaxed out by the playing to it being able to feel out some more with incorporating a more refined fit to things by applying a heavier style. While it is heavier they also seem to keep it on a fine footing all the way here. “The Emasculated Man and the City That Swallowed Him” seems to have a knack to it all. Here the pace springs to life. The song sits pretty and stands tall in equal measure. The way that the band figures it all out gets you on board all the way on this one. The burst of pace on show here to it is something that serves it well. The whole pleasantry to it is a top drawer affair that rings true. With “Love is a Shotgun” the dedication is an impressive quality that sails across on it here. This is driven strongly by the piano arrangement on it, and as a whole it lights up in a way that gives it a lift in the way it progresses. The timely feel to it is well suited to how it is all built. What it all comes in around is a light affair that has some weight applied to it when necessary. These are the features on show here that show a true investment from the band here.
What is an obvious thing about “So Gracefully” is that it plods along in a way that has a relaxed feel to it all. That graceful essence surrounds the song and it kneads in the wholesome to it that softly comes across on it. The playing to it stokes this all very well and cooks it in a balanced way. Here is a song high on charm and it is able to play that card very well here. Then the direction seems to take a noted variation with “Circumstance”. Here there is a harder rock sound taking precedence on things. Playing wise this is a handsome effort from the band and it draws a comparison in their sound with BAND OF HORSES. Yet, when judged on merit, it also shows their ability to play. This is an ability they have in great abundance and it comes through on this one for them with a lot of style. An ambient track then follows that up with “I've Got a Lot of Problems With You People”. This is a very brief track at 1:49. However, it still manages to impress fully. This is down to how the lilt on the voice brings out the best in it. The tranquil and languid way that it sounds also stands it in good stead. What the band show here is something that is dealt a good hand and not overdone by leaving it as it is, which suits it a great deal. On “We Change Lives” the song spins out finely here. The graceful way that it sweetly saunters along is something that is a big draw. The considerate way that it begins is happily maintained. This is the album’s long player but it manages to go the distance without any problems. In the process it brings an expansive sound with a well-worked string assortment that sits within the tempo finely. This gives the song a luxurious and full-bodied feel to it and churns out a work that is high on the elegant features while feeding in the right amount of sheen that it glistens here as it plays. This is a stellar tune marked out for all the right reasons from beginning to end. The closing track on the album is “When You Pass Through the Waters”. This is another brief track at a running time of 1:59. Marked out by a piano intro, the tune walks a fine line. The vivid sentiment of it takes you along for the ride. There is a ramble to it that nestles nicely here and sees the tune come to a fine resting place that closes the album swiftly without any unnecessary ceremony here. There are two bonus tracks included here. The first is “..And You Said it Was Pretty Here”. This has a darling appeal to it helped by the way the song is finely able to slide across. That process is helped by the crisp way that it sounds. The turning on the whole lot here brings it all to the fore and is a striking tune when it all happens. The song wakes up and the second bonus track here is another well placed effort. “Gun Control Means Using Both Hands” has a more experimental sound anchored in on the intro. The playing then eases into something that brings a more rock focused sound from the band. Here the way that it all weighs in is an impressive show that gives the necessary countenance, while the manner they focus and channel all the play balances out finely from beginning to end. The album is set for re-release on the 9th of April.
Album Reviews JOINTPOP The Pot Hounds
JOINTPOP are a band that was recommended to us through the music network that we established in Trinidad & Tobago in the summer of last year. There is a lot to like about this band and the way they bring the rhythm smartly to the table on the opening track “Sweet Nothings” is a dazzling array that pushes through for all the right reasons. What is set out from the structure to it is designed to parlay optimism and from that approach the song is a well-reasoned attempt. It contains a simple chord structure but it works for it all the more. The pleasant and uplifting feel from it emotes cleverly here. “Superapple” is the second track here and there seems to be something about it that finds its way through on the playing. They seem to keep a fine guitar rhythm to it that warmly flows on it. There is a movement in it that captivates finely when the direction slows down. The piano arrangement begins to capitalise on it and there is an ELTON JOHN feel to it all that superbly applies itself. The third track on the album is “Man Dog Millionaire” and is marked out by a slower and tender feel parlaying forth. A nostalgic feel to it seems to keep an early 1970’s vibe to it that shines through on it. The slide from the guitar shoots on it finely to sit well with a convincing piano and drumming accompaniment. There is a smooth feel to it and it the troubadour feel to it comes through on the voice of frontman GARY HECTOR in a big way here. “Treat Me Like The Dog I Am” injects a large amount of pace to proceedings. The guitar resonates respectably on it and there is a tight way to how it combines. There is no let up on it and the energetic sound to it all is underlined by the presence of an organ on the sound. While not necessarily a roadhouse sound, there is the good mind to it though to it on how it plays. They keep that organ sound as a featured ever-present on “Dead Dog Perfume” and it beds in well here. That allows the spacing out of it to carry well. There is a saunter felt from it. With the laid back feel on show the organ gathers a more sophisticated stature that suits it well. Another thing about this is how freely it all seems to gather on it. The right things seem to cling to it in how it sounds
and it is all the better for it. “Paper Plane” stands out for the way it is so easy listening. There is a good skip to it. The guitar and piano seem to co-ordinate on it finely. How it builds seems to finely fit the soothing nature of how it is all stirred. Then they re-introduce the guitar on their sound in a more prominent way on “Dream Hard”. It processes things in a neat way here. The attempt to get going works for it here and the tempo to it is aided by the catchy way the guitar creates the hooks in the sound on it. By leaning into it in the way that it does the sound is rounded out harder. An acoustic guitar on “Don’t Let It Slip” seems to create a more sombre arc in the play. That puts an attentive face upon it with the softer approach to it slipping comfortably into the play here. It keeps things on track with a song focussed on the emotional heft. It slips things nicely across on the song. “Let’s Pray (For Rock’N’Roll)” is a song that has novelty written all over it. That aside the message in the lyrics does make sense. There is a steady beat exhibited from the guitar on it. The fashion of it is an acknowledgement of all things musically that bring the kudos and credibility to music that are missing these days. “The Water Supreme” patters along commendably. There is a shallow way about the tone here that is able to access the availability intended quite well. With that weighted in the splendour to how it is styled comes in on it finely. Rambling out as the song closes seems to suit and it close around that aspect nicely. The final track here is “Sexy Garbage Can”. This spiritualises the sound from the defined rhythm. The Southern styling on show seems to enrich it in a gospel sense. There is a troubadour feel about it and it has a little quirk about but also conveys something sophisticated throughout.
JETHRO PICKETT By The Time I Get To Wilmot
Tasmanian singer-songwriter JETHRO PICKETT’s album comprises ten songs that each “Visions Fade” invitingly keys in the playing. There is a depth to how it opens and that is then abetted by the more soulful refrain that comes off it. The fractured feel that falls into place on this smartly sits with the introspective running on it. With the chorus comes a boost in the powerful style that makes it a more sweeping attempt. For this alone it brings things forward in a meaningful way. The tempo seems to be more upbeat on “You Were My Queen”. There is a hollow hum that comes off it from an organ that chimes delightfully on it. That is also accompanied by a Dobro that neatly slides on the sound. That creates a yearning on the intro and then it sophisticatedly and dutifully begins to open as it progresses. Something supple is felt from the vocals and lyrics and it rises nicely on it here and sits well upon it. A more harmonious feel comes from “A Tale From The Hills”. The playing is styled in a way on it that has careful laying to it. The defined and dandy way that it all rolls is helped by the tame drumming on it. With the design of it also imbuing a lot of musical arrangements to it that seem to find an honest virtue to it all and really bring out the most from it. On “She Likes To Dream” a closeness comes across. The patient strokes applied to the playing bring out the delicate touches finely. A serene quality is on show with the process as a whole. That is locked down in terms of the rhythm and the portrayal of his voice as he sings on it. It is allowed to find its way through adopting this measured approach. Things are soulfully taken on “Feels Like Our Path”. It very cleverly refines the points of note about it. The guitar is tweaked and it entwines the rhythm and tempo together astutely. It is how it comes together that soulfully lights up. The tame feel on it is pleasing and it mellows out on the whole song. Then a more persistent run is felt to “Revelations (To Be Proud Of)” and it draws a comparison with ERIC CLAPTON. The bespoke way that it pushes all
the playing through demonstrates this. There is a placement to the rhythm as a whole that exemplifies this. A magnitude to how it all plays is immediate. It is what gives the track the essence that embodies the pure quality of it musically. “Dream And Be Safe” is a song that graces the album. Given its brief running time it is more of an interlude yet it still displays a quality to it. The harsh side of the tempo is able to get lost in the comfort of the lyrics finely. The picturesque showing from it rates highly for it. Then the album gets a more skittish rhythm going on “Stand Up” that binds wisely here. It stands it good stead. With it carefully coming alive it is able to shrewdly impose itself upon the tune. With the way the rhythm hardens the sound it plays out with a sturdy showing to it that truly and carefully comes alive. A reflective approach is adopted on “6O Years Ago”. The vocals on it are spoken word at the intro. Then it delves into a deep way in the playing that subsides in a very impressive way. This sounds like the later work of PULP in the way it all falls. It definitively conveys the message and has the suitability in the playing style to match. “The Loner” closes out the album. A volume is felt from the solemn way in which the guitar is strung along as it opens. That gives way and the whole process as an ensemble piece has the necessary tranquillity to it. That bestows upon it some solitude, but with the shape that it gives to it here it also additionally balances it all finely. To sign off on the album here gives it a touch of class.
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MYLES MANLEY Jagger Manqué The recently released EP by MYLES MANLEY is something that shows why he is held in such high regard by his peers. The opening track “Take And Take” has a lavish synth based score running alongside it. That seems to catch something about it all and tapers in a timely quality that is a resolute showing. The lyrics on show an imagination at work on them and they are a keen prospect on this track. The second number here is “Dog”. With the opening one gets the sense of intrigue from it. This is helped along by the curious way in which it sounds. There is a graceful flirt with the synth and electro elements in the sound. A dark edge is also unlocked from the lyrics and they seem to illicit a grim sense of purpose to what is on show here from the direction taken with the sound. The experimental sense of this is easily observed, with the sound being a progressive and alternative attempt but one done so in sounds electric. “Old Habits Die Hard” is another attempt at embracing an experimental electro sound. Here there is a digression about the sound that has a timid feel to it, while also going for the outlandish extreme simultaneously. The dark side of things are also worked at here and the gothic elements in the sound here sit amongst the harder
THE DEAD BEAT
Your 19th Revolution
industrial sound on show. However, things do begin to pick up with the more upbeat “London Underground”. Here there is an embracing of a calypso element in the sound. That gives the sound a platform upon which to push it all out. There is a forward momentum on show and it all seems to adjust for how it is spun. A pleasantry is mapped out on it and it suits the style of it all.
The Dublin music scene can at last rejoice because it would seem that we finally have an underground band on the scene to really get excited about. Their first track off the EP here is called “Advertisement” and it certainly puts the band in a shop window here. The sharp and steadfast rhythm to it shows an incredible composure that captivates. The energy emitted from it enthrals in way that shoots straight and specific. The raw vibe to it draws a comparison with bands such as TELEVISION in the way they obtain a new way feel from the sound here. Maintaining that smart projection is next song “Chase The Sun”. Here the sound is a more inward affair but it serves a great purpose. The neatness and precision in the guitar riff that wraps around the tracking here and the forceful way it
bounces along is something that truly captivates upon listening. They also seem to bring an ability to the projection of the playing here that styles this in a way that can cross many genres. The indie and shoegazer fans will love this, but so too will people looking for something that stands out from the crowd. This is it right here. The eponymous track on the EP comes to life with an obvious urgency. The stirring rhythm that lifts off from the guitar and bass combo is aligned finally with a crisp drum show to back it all up. What you get from the band here is certainly the real deal and we have seen them perform live recently. This builds with a very tight tempo. The way that all of the direction is handled keeps it all in check. An unleashed fever attaches itself to the running on show here and brings the attractive feel of it to the fore in an improvised way that scintillates fully. “It’s Different Now” brings a close to the EP and here they establish their indie credentials. With warm and kooky loops defining on the play they mark their territory finely. They show here on this why they have that edge about their sound because this is something that evokes a strong underground flair that most definitely goes against being mainstream. That shows in the playing and how it sounds. There is also a gritty feel to it that comes to the surface on it and brings it to life in a distinguished way. Going against the grain here but doing it for the sake of music as opposed to any other reason.
The first thing that stands out on the opening track “Fun” is the comparison that has to be made to ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS. Both in terms of the vocal delivery and the tempo that lucidly sails across on it. Here they show something highly appealing that exudes an enormous amount of energy. There is a side to the rhythm that abounds with the right characteristics. The way it operates is able to contain things in a specific way. With the flow to it being an energised and innovative beat that lets fly. It takes you away with it very easily here. They then pack an obvious wallop into “Almost In Love”. It weighs in sweetly. What also works on this one are the blues influences of the rhythm guitar stoking things in the background, whole the hard edge rock side of things comes to the fore. That is an interesting arc to it and it produces the sweet pitch that obviously brings it all out. “What You Mean To Me” could very well find its way to becoming the signature tune of many a teenage love. There is something squeezed out of it from the guitar on show. They also stipulate something raw and uninhibited about it. That is what gives it the edge here. While not fundamentally a punk song, it is not exclusively an indie song either. The sound to it has an underground feel to it that manages to brightly shine. It really is a spellbinding and tough tune. A harmonica sweetens things on “Squeeze Me At The Brikhaus”. It gets down to it all and has a slope to how it sounds. The play here works in a way that brings out the best in it
CRAFTY FUZZ The stillness of the voice of BARBARA ALLEN takes hold on the opening track here and it never lets up. The EP opens with “Once In A Blue Moon”. This is one of those tunes that rocks out. The blues aspects of it shoot straight and it has a clean cut way to it all. How it runs off is figurative. The checked styling of it all ticks all the boxes. It brings the
and plays to the strengths. While showing something serene to it all in the simple way it is styled, it contains something about it that seems to work the magic into things here. There is a spry little jolt to the rhythm of the guitar and with the harmonica being added it is able to impart the necessary qualities to it that make for easy listening. You feel that this is perhaps the idea and that is why it is so effective.
heavy when required and has the mettle to rub shoulders with the best of them. It pounds it out and stands toe-to-toe with the rock element. There is nothing superficial about it either. This is then followed by “The Game” which tears things up. This is marked by the fast changes in the pace that drop down and let the harder rock side hollow out on it. That is the descriptive side to it that shows best on it. Here they leather it out but it is all purposeful and arranged in a way that follows through commendably. “Gone Now” is marked out as rocky affair. The rhythm to it is smartly whipped out on it here. The edge that grips it contains a raw necessity that is able to motivate and stake its claim on things here. The sharp way it all resonates is hard and fired up with the right degree of attention to detail. With “Struggle Struggle” there is a charming way that it all teems along. It is able to find a significant way of carrying about its business. The sound to it here allows the rock side to be steadier here. The tempo to what is on show moves along commendably. There is a shape to it and it has an even balance to it on all fronts. They seem to take a step back in the delivery of it in comparison to the previous efforts, but in doing so they manage to take two steps forward on account of the musical thinking on show. “Timebomb” tracks things nicely here. It attracts something speculative with how they burn through on the rhythm of it. The frenetic nature of it lets them hit the ground running here. There is an incline to this and it is blessed with a blistering sound that is able to go the distance. “Unknown” is the closer here. It brings something smooth to the table. What is put into it musically brings a feverish style to it all. It flies easily and there is a bark to it that matches the bite on it. Things cut across this one in a way that defines it…and it defines it for the right reasons.
Dead Man’s Hand
From the very second “Dead Man’s Hand” begins to play the voice of front man CALVIN DOYLE figuratively imposes itself upon proceedings. The divine and gravelly tone to it is something that freely brings an added trait to the song. The rhythm to it is also spread out on it in a fine way. There is a tumble from the guitar on it that has something of a loose style to it but when the bridge is played in things really begin to take shape. The clear and crisp resonance of the guitar is a spell-binding affair and it measures everything cleverly. With “Tin Pan Alley” a troubadour style works things well. There is a pride in a way that seems to reflect a dedicated fell to it all here. It takes hold of the tempo and rhythm in an avid way that circulates excellently. There is a refined feel to it that exudes the class and effortlessly charms. Something about this takes things to a scenic turning that gives the song the treatment it deserves. They weigh in with everything in a way that shines on “A Farewell To Charm”. Here there is a natural run to it. They comfortably bring it all together. The burst of pace from the guitar sees them right. How they embrace it allows for an investment upon things to bring out the best. The chirpy style
that it has is an infectious feel and it reaches out and just keeps it going. There is so much to commend them on for this one. It is the way that they turn it all in that shows they have a level of musical competence that allows for the tune to be handled by the right people. The final track on the EP here is “Chemist Liquor”. It runs and rounds out something charming in the process. Here there is an exuberant feel and the lyrics shows a macabre tale unfold with the utmost of prestige. This is a band with a sound that has something that is not necessarily going against the grain, yet it manages to stand out and has the credentials to warrant any appreciation of it on a musical merit.
“Eli Jones” gets it all underway here. There is a bounce and a stride that it all takes. The Southern influence is sharply felt on this. There is a quick side in the step to it and it has a smart way to it that creatively pleases. The guitar hooks have a chop to them that seem to instil something that evokes a nostalgic appreciation. There is a heavy bass line on show to it that seems to add a flourish to this. “The Little Boat” seems to bring an acoustic style to it. It also seasons things with a fine tumble. The rambling aspects in their sound burn bright here. The skip and charm to it all seem to light it up. How they round it all out is something that tantalises and shows the talent they have as musicians. “Long Way Down” is another wholesome affair that has a timeless, Southern feel to it. Enriched by the shuffle that marks time on the playing here, everything is sealed in on the playing front. There is a rich vein to it that is tapped in to by the band. The scintillating way that all of the elements in the play are weighted is a prospect for it that enhances. With each listen it also seems to improve. There are a lot of neat flourishes in the play that bring out the best in it. They carve out something of a niche with “Man Of Habit”. Here they display the credibility in their sound. Here the rich country side of their music comes to the fore. This is all marked out by the tempo, the lyrics and in particular the staunch way that the bridge on it weighs in to proceedings. It has this great way of breaking into the rhythm that is built on the concise side of it all.
MOO! happen to be one of those bands that are a breath of fresh air and they have an invigorating way about them. Be that when they perform live or in the lyrics and candid feel to their songs that show an elegant, smart style to them. Here they stick to what they are good at and create an inventive six track EP that shows an invigorated band at the top of their game.
“Restless Blues” is a more stirring affair. Here the solemn side of their music is put on display. The reflective side of the lyrics sits well here with the tempo. That is all sealed in and there is a patient and practical way that sees it all come round. They do manage to pick up things in a way that hangs finely. There is a dynamic at work with this. When it all comes together they really do piece it finely. With the way the fine touch to it is threaded through you warm to it in a big way. “Running Fool” has a delightful drag to it. There is a robust feel to the rhythm. While it is grounded in a certain way, they click into gear on it. The lyrics covet this to their benefit and see the song shine through. With a firm and taut guitar at the beginning, it then begins to spin out finely. Here the sprightly feel to it is helped by the decisive way it plays. There is a refreshing way to it that is able to stabilise upon the sound and keep it ticking over. When it begins to find form there is something impressive to it all. There is something enigmatic captured about it here that enthrals in a specific way.
FRENCH BIRD “We Too Remain” opens things for them here in a very fine fashion. The hold on show displayed from the rhythm here is something that has a believable calling about it all. There is a nimble feel to it and there is a deeper rhythm to it that puts a dark edge on it in places. With that energetic guitar packing things out on the sound to it here the tune manages to open up and put itself firmly in the shop window. There is a vibrant side to it that picks up but seems to keep things in line. It has the necessary consistency to it. Then it begins to inject something more retro with the styling of the guitar. On “Red Pencil” it evokes something about it that nips about. The guitar itself has a riff to it that bounces along and there are piano forays on show to it that also complement finely. Everything adds up on it here and it balances out finely. A song conveniently titled “French Bird” is the third offering here. There is something held back on the intro, but only slightly. It lets things off the hook nicely as it begins to play. Here they situate something in the sound that allows them to parade about. The faster tempo on it comes across evenly. They also show with the sound to it that they are able to develop a more sunken sound yet still give you something that you would want. There is a raw side to this but it also seems to have a highly credible urgency about it. This carries a punk edge to that has the right hooks booming and working their way through on it. With “Insomnia” they hark back to the more appealing side of their music. As the intro comes into play there is a loom of sorts in how it sounds. There is then an expression to it that is brought out well in the thought out side of the lyrics. A softer rhythm also seems to create an ornate texture to it that allows it to breathe. What happens here is a rather clever showing that ever so well begins to finalise what they want to get from it. They drop things on it in a well-judged way as the
musical direction changes on it at times here. “Bedrooms” is the final track on the EP. It runs at over seven minutes and as a long player it manages to keep things ticking over. That is helped by the softly and trippy way it opens. The drumming has a sparse way of being spaced enough to sit well on the guided drift that the guitar plays to. The ambient and stray sound that they have carries off a shoegazer call, but it also shows an imaginative and fresh sounding tune as the driving force to it.
There is a swing to the eponymous number on the EP here that immediately touches you. The joyful rhythm to it is given a true surge and the intense way it rolls here is an impressive trait. There is a goodness that comes to it from the brass ensemble working behind it and there is a fantastic pace to it. The way it turns on the style is something that touches and really pulls something out of the hat that mesmerises. There is something bewitching to how it sounds and it has a flavoured temperance about it that is highly appealing. With “Way Back When” another outstanding tune plays in to the reckoning. There is also a different direction to this one and it has a calling about it. There is a realisation to it here that is incredible. The measurement of it all really brings out something intriguing and how it all comes together is an impeccable show of talent. It imparts some true beauty upon it on all fronts. This is a tune that amazes from beginning to end. “Untainted” is another song that seems to invest a different musical influence in the way it sweeps you up in the style. The colours to it are finely painted down on it. Here the impressive side to it is the delivery. The flow to it is a tidy tempo that sweetly comes together. The piano arrangement is very much realised here, with the string section beautifully drawing out the sound on it here. Everything to it takes its time and an appreciation for it on account of this develops. The final track on the EP is “Call Me”. Here things are sweetly played in on a hopeful crest. With that in mind it seems to capture something sweet and soft yet at the same time it lets something come to the fore on it that matches the mood. There is a sentimental side on show here, yet it is also all about the delicate touches in the arrangement. This is what seals the deal on this one. This shows a clever working of all those sides come into the mix but there is no monotony or tiring format at work on it. It is all down to expressing it in the music and for that it retains an integrity that sees it through.
TANDEM FELIX Popcorn
“Third Degree Burns” is the first track on the EP. There is a sophistication felt with the arrangement of it. The patient feel to it all carries a residual feel to it that gradually begins to take hold on the playing side in a way that progresses things. A fervent guitar steals away in the background with a deft hook, whole there is a to and fro swaying in the calypso corners that merge with the sound. The organ playing here wails out the lonely feeling to it all. “Bad Hands” is recognised by the calculated presence devised with the sombre and softer tone on show to it. The capitalising of the stillness on the playing allows them to lock in the finer elements. There is a niche carved out on it here and the frailty and timid vocal delivery stays within the protected feel of it all. While it evokes a grandiose style to it there is also something well placed in how the musical arrangement suffices here. “Tell Yer Loved Ones” keeps things smartly in line with the piano that plays it all in. The dreamy and lucid way that it holds invests something toward things musically. The walkabout keel that it plays in with brings it to life despite the tepid feel from it. When it begins to show through the playing on it becomes a harder attempt from them to the fore, in particular the heft from the drumming stands out on it. A CHOPIN like piano arrangement exemplifies their experimental side all the more. While it plays in a glass sheet juts across on it and screeches in the background
before it all drops out and is replaced by a warm organ playing in like a beacon of hope. There is an air of the fantastic and cool to this, while also showing an expressive side to them as a band in their music. They clearly set it all out on this one and the way it all begins to open out is a mesmerising turn of events. A reprise of “Tell Yer Loved Ones” closes out the EP. That is an inclusion that is not necessarily a bad thing although it doesn’t seem to bring anything to the mix, but it still finds a suitable place on it here.
it all builds and they seem to hold their nerve in terms of having the confidence to pull it off. With the fine turn in show to it all there is a lot to like about this track and it piques the interest about them. The hooks are not confined to the playing. There is also a charming way to the vocals. The keyboard steps things out on “Go”. What shows is an understanding in the movement sees it rally the playing in a way that seems to evoke a well raised tempo. Here some synth plays upon the sound and there are other sides to the rhythm that seem to flesh it out. The end result is something of a big player with a little bit of a lush retro quality going on that suits it.
8 LEAVING LAS VEGAS The first thing that hits you from this five track EP is the intent from the opening track “Fighting Dirty”. Here the handle on show about it all comes in around a spacious arrangement that shows a lot of front. The tempo to it is tailored around some slick guitar work and it shoots straight, while they also come to the table with a lot of ambition running through it here. There is a steady way that
“Exit” seems to merrily open up. There is a bit of a harsher feel to it in the aplomb that seems to hold back. Then the sunken sound to it begins to open as the playing picks up on the pace. The patient display to it here trails finely. Here they thread the playing in and as it is done the progression to it here gathers the momentum required. It slips in to gear nicely and there is a competent display about it when all the playing factors are given due consideration. On the fourth track “Closure” there is a powered aspect to the sound. Here the reliable synth based sound that they have in their repertoire is backed up. Things come together neatly on this one. There is a rich outline to it all here and it seems to better itself as the track begins to progressively pick up. The electro aspect of the sound gives it a fresh beat and it is able to separate itself and allow the other musical elements come in to help build everything on it. The closing track on the EP here is “Dancing With My Demons”. Here the beat allows for something catchy and upbeat to come to the fore. What it results in is a high tempo and vibrant intro that then drops back. Here the sound retains something about the sound that is derivative for the organ sound in the background. The fuller side of it is kept in check on it and there is a way to it that sees it climb finely. The skip to it is a pleasantry that sells this and that is helped considerably by the reaction to the rhythm that takes off diligently.
THE CITY APPLES The Blanchardstown band has produced a beauty in their EP here. The very first track here “Inside Job”. This is a colourful and vibrant tune that necessitates an ease that finely flows across on it. The crisp way that the tempo of it connects on here is an impressive trait. It houses the rhythm on it in a specific way. The arrangement in the sound, in particular the violin coarsely playing behind it, give the tune a beautiful composure. With the laid back style of it as layered as it is you are immediately engaged in listening and rewarded for your time. That is then followed by “Trading Me Up”. This changes the style in how it opens. Not as heavy in the approach and layering, it still envelops all the good points about their sound and parlays them into another excellent track. Well worth checking out for the guitar rhythm on it alone, the song grasps a great deal and portrays a degree of intelligence in the lyrics. Piecing everything together in the way that they do offers an interesting angle on the tune. Nothing is sold short here either. The charm to it is felt but it is the music that does the talking here. It speaks volumes with the way it steps out. “Bitter” is the next and this has a resolute, upbeat feel to it. The band cordon the rhythm on it and the tinkered way that it plays into things is reasoned well here. The guitar flutters away at the intro and then there is a consistent rhythm that counts on it all that takes centre stage on it. A pleasance is felt from the vocals and the content of the lyrics, while merging the catchier aspects of the sound in a way that invigorates it all. There is something about “Pictures” that highly reflects an accomplished side to the band. It has a relaxed feel to it and it sails through things on the playing side. With the way it impressively builds and becomes a big player shows a lot of credibility to the band in how it takes shape. Here you can see why they are gathering the excellent reputation as one of the bands on the Dublin circuit to keep a close eye on. This track shows ambition, talent and potential in equal measures.
THE RED VELVETINES Black
The Ballymoney band are an unsigned act but they know how to bring it and get down when they play live. We can testify to that as we gave them a live review of their gig in The Mercatile on St. Patrick’s
9 The closing track on the EP is called “Trees”. This has a dandy quality to it emanating from the manner that the playing style drifts across on it here. They weigh in with it all and there is a patience felt from it in the shape of the violin on show. What they also do is allow the progression of it all to come together in a well-connected way that takes off when needed. The softness felt from it in the slower moments is a nice touch on this one, while the ethereal feel that is etched across on it is a well-weighted gesture that serves it well.
Day. The first track on the EP here is “Get Down”. The bass line at the beginning is a stark and feverish prospect to it all. From there a smart and showy guitar riff that leans heavily on the rock side of things comes into the reckoning. The style to it has a wrapped feel to it sensibly marked out by a charged guitar sound. That is what narrows the focus of the sound on it here to bring the rock aspects very much to the fore on it. As an opening tune it whets the appetite well here. With second track “Tell Me Sister” they keep the momentum going. There is a rich blues vein felt from the lead guitar on it. That posts well upon the bridge here. What else stands out on this track is the co-ordination on show. The vocals have a haughty spirit to them, while the manner in how everything seems to flow on this one has a progression to it that lets it come across as intended. The edgy sound that they have is exemplified further on their closing track “Ninety Nine Times”. Here is a song rich in stature and the presence of the sound is helped further by the figurative way that they lean into the play on it. All of the components to what is on show here intensify. There is a wrap from the play that sees it adhere to maintaining that harder sound. What is also notable on it here is the sexy way the vocals fly off on it. There is something in it that has a suggestive pent up sexuality about it that really sells it. It is only a suggested flirtation but it is there none the less and it gives it a little bit more because of it.
CROOKED LITTLE SONS The Crooked The new EP from the Exeter band is a strong piece of work. “He Who Dares” opens and is a torrent of blistering pace from the guitar. From there it strikes a pose with the overtures to be squeezed out on the playing. What is a recognised feature on this one is the way that all the playing is stored up and to release the more intense side on it. The guitar is completed by an edgier sound that cuts finely on it all here. The way things break out on it has a constant chime complete with the necessary exhilaration to pad it all out. While the next song might be titled “Lack The Attack”, it is only in the title where that is true. This cuts across finely with a good internal snarl on the vocals marrying up well on the rhythm. What it does is lift off and keep things perpetual. The strength from the beat is able to hold its own in a way that fuses the vibrant styling to a well arranged edgier sound. The toll of it all is well felt and they retain the rawness in a much admired way here. The sharpness of the rhythm is instantly picked up on “This Town”. Here the fast paced turn in from them is well considered. The way that it all flies is down to the breakneck speed at which it is played. They keep it constantly ticking over and the lean way that it sounds keeps things credible. The catchy hooks from the guitar do give it a glossy feel as it plays but it retains a credibility off the back of how well matched everything on show here seems to be. Then it is straight into proceedings with no messing about on “Sharp As A Brick”. They keep a stiff upper lip on how they play it. There is a clear drive to it that forcefully ploughs through on the playing side of things. They slip comfortably into this and they grind out the harder playing points with a sense of stature that is highly
THE LITTLE SHOCKS The Vagabond Sound
commendable. They dig in deep on it and produce the goods. The blues influence shows on the guitar and it cruises along with the rock aspects finely here. The final track here is “Little Girl” and it has a way about it that sees a zesty style play into things from the band. There is something to marvel in the effort here. Things on show are well checked on it. With the way the vocals impart upon this one they give it an even style that resonates finely. Here they keep the guitar and drumming ticking over and they grind out the best in it.
This unsigned band from Chichester/Bognor Regis has been played in our office quite regularly since we came across their EP. There is a free style to “The Vagabond Sound” that dances merrily. The other thing of note is the distinction that is marked out by the voice of lead singer TOM HERRINGTON. He is able to impart a level upon it that gifts the intense side of their paying style an added layer. The rhythm on this is smart and jumps high enough to land with their feet on the ground when it does take off. There is a competence felt from the scintillating way that it is all laid on because while it does gift it a lavish sense it is also applied appropriately by the band. “Be Aware” is the second track and has something about the intro that draws you in. They plant a steely rhythm on show to it that catches everything about it here in a fine way. There is bluster in the tempo on it that dances well. It really picks up the pace and the head first way that it charges into it all paints it finely. There is a practical way to in how it goes. Another fine display from them on this track is the way they handle the lyrics on it. The blistering style of the pace is also reflected in the delivery and flow vocally. The closing track here is “Baby Blue”. The captivating way that it opens draws a comparison with BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD’S “Stop Children What’s That Sound”. That is down to the pristine guitar hook that hangs off the opening and it instantly appeals because of it. There is a soulful little canter to it that it carries off quite well. From there the sound becomes more concentrated but spaced out finely. There is also a more laid back attachment to this one that work well for it. They seem to approach this with a more relaxed styling that hits it all finely. Another positive point of note is the warm sentiment that comes across from the vocals. The final track here is “We Dance Alone”. The soft echo on this is a timely facet that is well judged. They cover a lot of bases on this one and it is a song that stands up and deserves to be counted.
ELECTRIC CLOWNS Been Caught Posing
Things open finely with the excellently titled “This Scene’s Been Built For You”. The guitar and drumming beat out on it with the utmost sincerity and that is able to round out the finer aspects in how it is designed to come across. They settle into the playing well. The little inventive flashes on show are colourful enough to sit alongside the fuller showing to their sound here. With the steady side of the rhythm carving things out well on this one they turn in an honest tune that rises to the occasion by a considerable mile. With the bar set for them they put another even turn in with their next song “Indigo Always”. There is a particular feel to it that seems to sit upon the way they pocket the sound here. A more inner expression is met on this one but there are also the lean subtleties to it all here that bring something. They measure things in to the sound to produce something promising that has a handsome skip to it. The drumming finely introduces everything on “Trampagne Beautiful”. Then when the rest of the playing comes into the playing it also comes into the reckoning. Here they show a real flair in their sound. The rousing qualities of this one are expertly on show. Each side of the sound has a decisive part to play and there is no holding back from them here. They dish it out with equal measure and take no prisoners with this one. The word for it is awesome. It also depicts an inventive streak. They see things out with “Don’t Play With Glass Dolls”. The rhythm automatically picks up on it and the intensity of it fires this one up considerably.
THE CUT THROATS Life/Death/Love/Loss
They impart the hard feel to it all figuratively and things are well shook up by it. The volatile nature of it shows and they are implicit in getting the leaner qualities of it all out and putting them on show. There is a precision to the guitar and the entire running on it here displays something that very much steals the show. In short it is a great tune that sits with pride of place among the others included on the EP here.
They bring something that stacks up the play quite well on “Red Letters”. There is a flourished feel to it and it spins neatly. The bright way that the melody on it furrows shows in a fetching way. A reserved feel to it is also noted and they harness a cushion to it all in the way that they follow through on it. That shows the integrity of the band in the novel way they style it. Here it lays things across on it delightfully. There is a pretty feel to “Last Night In The Village”. The bespoke style that they open with keeps things figuratively in line. The guitar that spreads out across it on the bridge is matched by the even way they play in the whole of the play. There is something of a safe feel to it that is able to ensure that it stays the course. On next song “Good Old Days” the playing is delightfully threaded through. Another thing that impresses fully is the vocal showing. Here it is the saving grace and proves to be an inspired high point on it. It gives the song a gravitas that lifts here. The rhythm to it stokes it all in an entwined way that echoes on the playing in a noted way. With the way everything drifts along on it the sweeping style to it soon catches up on the listener. The overall effort here is a blissful one that truly astounds in terms of how good it is. The final track on the EP is “Deceive”. The finer points on it are all there to see. Be that in the form of how the rhythm serves to function in the decisive way upon it all or the lyrics shaping it all with an important presence. By marking out a path in this way for everything to adhere to, something becomes marked out by the band that functions extremely well for everything that is on show here.
LIKE FIRES EP 2
This unsigned band from Shrewsbury was recommended to us by our UK based music network and the EP was released recently. An active sound is felt from opening track “This Is” that sets things up finely for the band. The declaration of intent is on show with the sturdy feel from the rhythm that they bring to the table. Here they keep an edge about things that has the necessary smash and grab intended by the way the playing is doled out on it. The faster side of the playing is evenly floored on this one with the guitar sharply coming across on it. A very loyal punk sound comes off it and it is also done with the necessary graft to warrant it being taken seriously. They again produce something sterling to the rhythm on “Youth” that lets loose on it in a way that shows. The cursive harsh side of it is guided well here. Firing it up at the same time there is a persuasive little way that the song loosely shows through with. Finely bringing out more to it from the playing in the process it keeps that ramble to it as an appealing trait. The third track is called “Different Drums”. One of the standout things about this one is the way it smartly comes to the front with all of the play. There is a movement to it that is spirited along on the back of the rhythm. The drumming and guitar exhibit a sharpness to them that modifies the frantic aspects that are on show. They seem to catch the song in an imaginative way that is repeated and magnified on “16/17”.
DEEP HEAT New Design
Melbourne four piece DEEP HEAT were highly recommended to us by our Australian based music network. They create a grand sense of punk to their sound. That is underlined by the raw styling on show to the eponymous opening track here. They burst through on the rhythm to it. The high octane
Here they steal a moment or two in the fresh way that things explode from the offset to this one. In the way they actively light it all up here the electrifying pace that it works off showcases a hard edge and a band with the capacity to hold it all together in their tunes. They pull it all in close around the beat on it, but it is done in a way that sincerely gets the best out of it. The motivation in the playing is another immediately picked up point of note on this one.
consideration behind the drive on this one comes through for them. It retains its independence while also giving off a defiant showing in the stature that presents itself off the back of their sound. They cleanly light things up with “Transit”. The heavier feel to it comes across neatly here. The urgency about it is an encouraging trait to it. The tempo is steered by a brash style of play that absorbs a raw tenacity about it. The delivery to it all here is edgy. What is offset in the process is able bodied and matches their spirited style in a big way. That drive is matched and upped by “Not For Me”. What also comes across on it is an attitude that sells it well. The guitar leans into the playing and the drumming snaps it into life. The fluidity that presents here truly astounds. Here they are able to allow the music take centre stage and do the talking for them. A derivative easily comes through on the playing here that cuts finely from one end to the other. The energy and conviction to how it all rolls out here mesmerises. That is repeated with the way “Your Eyes” begins to pick up. They keep the rhythm on show here as constant as possible and it stands out for their attempt. The full on feel to this rides well. They sew it all up with the tandem that stirs as they play out on it. An inviting flurry is picked up by the rhythm that invitingly begins to steal all of this forward in a big way. The clear way that it all rises up shows on it and this is one of the key points on it. The final track here is “Green Box”. The beat pounds out on it and the vocals bring a harsher aspect to this. What we are left to listen to is something that gets the chemistry exact and it combines within the playing to deliver something explosive. They keep a smart style about this one that is not as raw as the others. That allows for a more focussed style of play to be accomplished by them, yet it still retains the signature of the band in terms of style and sound. They evenly judge it all and the vocals speak volumes for the way it impacts. The concise way that it abounds is all sewn up by how brief the track plays, but loses nothing for it.
HUMAN HUMAN A recommendation from our Canadian based music network, we have been listening to this EP for the last few months and it was officially released on March 4th. It is an excellent piece of music and it evokes a lot of things with the way they build their sound throughout. The opener here is “Forest” and it keeps things firmly in check. There is a way in how it rises that shows a detailed build that catches everything in an imaginative way. By keeping the synth aspect of their sound in the background on it the playing retains a smart and sensible run that serves it well. The sound here draws comparisons with THE KILELRS and ARCADE FIRE, but on its own merits is what it deserves to be judged on. The visionary way that they style it commendably brings something to the table that is carried across on it finely. Up next is “Control”. One of the things that stand out on it is the manner that they fetchingly deliver to it on the rhythm front. There is finesse to it from the intro and they then drop back on it to allow the vocals come in to the reckoning. Then when the playing all comes in those catchy hooks take over and bring out the playing. There is a teasing way that the band does it that lingers on it in a precise way. With all of the catchy side of it springing forth from the rhythm they deliver. On “City” the entire body of work is there to be admired. A scorching synth comes to the fore over a tempered drum roll. That creates a lavish landscape to how it all sounds. This leaves a lasting impression about all of this. A soothing bass line is another descriptive feature about this one that brings them the credibility that their
LITTLE WAR TWINS Marvelous Mischief A recommendation from our Boston based music network, there is something about their sound that we really admire here at U&I. There is a wonderful grace to it that is pegged back in a way that excites on the opening track “One Bottle”. The playing seems to round on things in a way that bends around a keel that is rather apt and specific on it. They seem to tailor a manic feel to how it sounds that electrifies and excites as it progresses.
10 music is deserving of. It is in the final track of the EP here that you see how good the band is. The electro elements of it seem to capture something that is driven by the integrity of how the arrangement sits on it all. There is an exuberance is felt from it here on all fronts. The strength in how the playing fixates all of the rich qualities shows here, and it shows in an impressive way that leaves you astounded when you hear it.
The guitar falls into line on it and resonates from it, while none of the other playing aspects squander anything on it here. They showcase a fine pedigree here and they keep it going from beginning to end. They then cast a watchful eye over things on “Firefly”. Here they manage to convey something with a delicate showing that unravels in a melodic sense. There are Latin elements locked in on the playing here that serve it well. The tempo to it is light and it elegantly comes together. They tie it to this with vigour and while it is all fastened to this style, they are also able to command a great deal from the playing on it and in how it moves. This is particularly felt when it catches things at certain points. “Red Coats” tangles the playing and flits between some jazz elements from the sound. The calming way to it is characterised by the way the marvellous way it is all pieced together seems to caress this style to it. There is however an inspired tempo unveiled among it all. The vocal display to it is also a well-matched sequence that works on it. The next song here is called “Hidden Dark” and it is also a song that channels the sound through the playing. There is a drawn out feel to it that lies beside the acoustic guitar solemnly pinned away on this. A harrowing vocal pitch meets up on it and it seems to encapsulate something that has a spiritual side to it. There is a rooted way to how it sounds that seems to hold it back more so than it intends. That narrowed sound is again what drives on “Starseeker”. The departure from the first two songs on the EP is felt here. The other thing about the music here is that the focus seems to be more on a minimalist approach. Both in terms of delivery and in the lyrics, with the pacified feel to this coming across on the two fronts and the methodical styling of it is something that maybe keeps it all too contained at times. The styling of their music here to move into that direction of a more pacified sound that reflects the ethereal again sees out the final track on the EP. On “Mother Pulls” the acoustic rhythm to it warms and it seems to incorporate a Native American styling to in the incantation that takes hold on the tempo. There is that unique aspect in their sound here that retains a folk lustre to it. They do bring out the respectable traits on it and the embracing of this music is an honest venture by them. The understanding of the music is apparent and that is what distinguishes it from being an avant garde ensemble. The intention is there and that is reflected in the delivery here.
Singles of the Month “Of God And Men” by Dublin band KEROUAC opens interestingly through the use of a spoken word which creates a dark and gothic feel to it here. Then a tortured sensibility comes from the taut vocals as they portray the message of the lyrics. The acoustic guitar plays in the background and then casually allows the song to build. The broken word approach expresses on it a second time and it shows something inspired that kindly allows the song to come into its own. The languid way it is all styled is a departure from their heavier sound, yet it still shows the heavier aspects of their sound as well as cleanly managing the build in the tempo on it.
8 ................................................................................................................................ “What Do I Say” – ROBB MURPHY The Belfast artist has been gathering a fine reputation both here and in the UK. On the back of this single here it is easy to see why. There is an insecure way about it as it opens with the flurry about it that suggests another singer/songwriter. However retaining a listening ear brings just rewards for this. The pace begins to gather on it and other musical arrangements begin to fall into place on it here. A zip begins to fly from it with the pin-sharp electro that becomes fed in on the sound. How it gathers allows the song to seize the necessary momentum it has gathered here. The forward way that it rolls is full of feeling and creative expression. The imaginative process behind it comes through on it formidably here and it is an excellent tune all the more for it.
“Brighton” – SOUTHERN SUNRISE We loved listening to this from the very first listen. It passes off on the back of a very restrained intro that is characterised by a peaceful and tranquil styling. The lyrics to it are bright and optimistic. With that in mind the expansive way it all opens out is a fine showing here. Steadying into it all as it builds they build the formation without stretching it in any way here. A sense of purpose comes off it. The drumming and the percussion aspects in the sound dance brightly on it. They impart upon it a rich texture that fills out the rhythm here. So much is nurtured from the playing that it sweeps you up with it as it plays.
................................................................................................................................ “Let It Go” – SUPER 73 The UK Midlands based band has a lift about their sound that leans heavy on the rock aspects and holds it all down. The guitar charges into everything and the high octane is a notable facet to their style. With rhythms that chase down the signature moves finally here what results is a song that bounces along finely. They also soulfully drop back on it and bring a harmony in on it. They style it with the New Wave sentimentality well and it has all the finer points about this approach working favourably here. There is also the noted edge and rawness about it in the delivery.
8 ................................................................................................................................ “NSA” – THE BOXING PLOT Dublin five piece THE BOXING PLOT released “NSA” and the plush way the guitar sits upon it is able to drive the sound out on it. The retracted sense of it is well-judged by the clever and sharp way the bass begins to form up on it. Add that to the snappy way the drumming casually plays on it and it has a high appeal going for it. Then as the rhythm finally does kick in you see how accomplished that is by the way the pace is stepped up by them. The angst of the vocals meeting the catchy side of the tone is remarkable indeed. It has a fresh and upbeat style to it that is as refreshing as it is invigorating.
8 ................................................................................................................................ “Ghosts” – THE SHADOW THEATRE Our Liverpool based music network highly recommends this band and we have been amazed by their single. How the forward drive of it is fed into the rhythm is something that takes off on it in the right way. That injects the necessary power required for it to take off. It situates the guitar and drumming upon it here in a way that forcibly keeps things perpetual. There is an intensity felt from it as it surges ahead, yet it is the direction and how they keep hold of it here that entails all the elements to this one competently. With everything well –checked it is able to circulate with the utmost vigour.
www.youtube.com/uandimusicagency The U&I 4x4 is the editor’s pick of four videos selected from our music networks and featured as a dedicated playlist on our YouTube channel. The April 2013 4x4 consists of the following artists: (The respective music network is indicated in brackets)
FRANTIC JACK “Living Proof” (Dublin)
NEW MYTHS “False Gold” (New York)
SHOBIZ “Better Late Than Never” (Dublin)
ODDSOCKS REVIVAL “Something’s Going On” (Ireland) 40
AP R IL 20 T H
NEXT ISSUE: Future Phantoms Raffiki King Kong Club Semi Final #3 Dirt Epics Album/EP Reviews
Published on Apr 3, 2013
The April 2013 Issue contains an interview with Cat Dowling. Live reviews of The Ruby Sessions, Hard Rock Global Rising 2013, Saucy Sunday,...