Monday, 28 March 2016

EP: Segrasso - Jokes To Tell

Segrasso Jokes To Tell EP Workmans Club
Photo: Remy Connolly



Segrasso - Heartbeats


Info: Last week saw Dublin five-piece Segrasso launch their third E.P., Jokes to Tell, at The Workman's Club, Dublin. With support coming from Good Cop, Bad Cop and Cat Palace, the venue was busy from the very beginning of the night and packed by the time Segrasso took to the stage. Having seen them at the venue a number of times before last Wednesday was different, the crowd was bigger and the band seemed more relaxed and determined that, if nothing else, they were just going to enjoy the occasion as much as they could.

This attitude carried to the crowd and had a positive effect on their set which included old favourites such as the immense 'Blue Rose' (below), the as always wonderfully coordinated 'Cell' and rock blow-out 'Seriously', and obviously their new material such as the cover of José González's 'Heartbeats' (above) and latest single, 'And Let's Not Even Talk About Balzac'. 

Segrasso - 'Blue Rose'

Earlier in the evening a group of American tourists arrived at the venue's door and enquired about the nights line-up, they were told in no uncertain terms that they should come in and will not be disappointed. The leader of the pack (who looked uncannily like Mr. E from Eels) was to be seen front of stage a few hours later fully getting into Segrasso's set, to the extent where he insisted on shaking the band members' hands after the show, Mr. E went home a happy man that night, as did we all. From my own perspective they never disappoint, but this was by far their finest hour and I left the venue elated after seeing such a strong and energising performance, there was a sense that Segrasso are now in a position to move to larger venues, perhaps reluctantly in some ways, as The Workman's holds a special place for the band.

Jokes to Tell opens with 'The Pact', Segrasso immediately announcing that they are taking a slightly different path on their third release with it's opening feedback and trash drums, it's a crashing grunge-fused number with nonchalant vocals and distorted guitars, at one particular point at 48 seconds briefly providing a Pixies-esque interlude. In a recent review regarding 'And Let's Not Even Talk About Balzac' I observed that; 'The guitars hover on the outside of Ash's Free All Angels when the Downpatrick trio abandoned indie rock for power pop on their third album...a post-punk soundtrack of a black and white summer.'

Segrasso The Workman's Club Dublin
Photo: Remy Connolly

A big highlight on the EP for me was third track 'London', opening with a distinctly punk hue, it veers into mellow shoe-gaze, a contemplation on the ex-pat's experience in a new city coupled with a smidgen of romance, 'I'm not that lonely, just far away' frontman Jake Regan informs us before the song elevates to higher and higher levels of soaring guitars. As covers go, Segrasso have certainly made 'Heartbeats' their own, and it's evident by the crowd reaction to their version that they've done a fine job of putting their own slant on it. The originals soft hum and meandering sound replaced by higher tempo electric guitars and a wall of noise finale, you could almost dance to Segrasso's interpretation, in fact, you definitely could.

The EP closes with the wonderful 'But They Do', an atmospheric electro introspective, simple beats and keys which are very effective, a little bit of an East India Youth meets The XX thing going on. The track's 7 and a half minutes are fully justified and as it progresses it takes on a more early 90's shoe-gaze and dream pop feel, before they do what they do best at times and have a fuzzed-out explosive finale. This is the third EP on the bounce now where Segrasso have beguiled us with pleasant surprises and notable progressions both in style and sound, achieving such consistency is not easy and few of their contemporaries could manage the same, it's time they reached a wider audience as they are undoubtedly one of the finest alternative rock bands in this country for over 2 years now. 

Jokes To Tell will be available for download shortly on the band's Bandcamp page below.



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