Sunday, 18 June 2017

EP: No Monster Club - Hiccup / Kalimanko

No Monster Club Bobby Aherne

Info: Bobby Aherne - AKA No Monster Club - has just released 'Hiccup - Kalimanko', the sixth installment of his encyclopedia-themed singles collection - following on from 'Aardvark - Blessing', 'Blimp - Casino', 'Casket - Drum', 'Drunk - Fantasy' and 'Faqir - Hex' earlier in the year. 

"Obviously I love making albums, but I felt like liberating myself from that structure for a spell, and reverting back to what I used to do: recording songs willy-nilly and setting them free whilst they're still fresh. It's a songwriting exercise, but it's also a chance for me to write and release some nuggets that mightn't necessarily make sense on an aurally/thematically consistent LP."

The a-side of 'Hiccup - Kalimanko' features the playful bubblegum pop of 'Birthday Cake' - an equally baffling successor to Richard Harris' 1968 hit 'MacArthur Park'.

The flip side to the single is 'A Long Day at the Seaside' - a sun-drenched patchwork quilt of interlocking melodies. At nine and a half minutes long, it's Aherne's lengthiest song to date - a hypnotising ode to a beach trip that raises more questions than it answers (key lyric: "I don't think that I can sunbathe here again/I thought the tuk-tuk guys were my friends").

What is this voodoo? To my own utter disgust, despite being told on numerous occasions over the years to check out the music of No Monster Club, the sixth EP in Bobby Aherne's series of 12 for 2017 has been my first introduction to his music, but what an intro for me personally, the within the opening 10 seconds of first track 'Birthday Cake' I felt an even greater personal loss that I'd missed out on so up until this point. But thankfully, due to the power of the Internet and the average life expectancy of an Irish male being 78 according to the last figures released in 2014, I will have time to treat my deprived wee ears to the NMC back catalogue.

The Hiccup / Kalimanko EP is a two-track delight, with No Monster Club posing serious questions about frivilous matters with the opening line on 'Birthday Cake'; "I don't know why you left the cake out in the rain? I was hoping that one day you might explain. I don't know why you left those sweets out in the sun, you ruined the birthday for everyone. But I'll admit, it's a lot to talk about...". The sense is that a travesty has occurred, but can possibly be overcome and redeemed through concocting a well-thought out joint plan. Musically the lo-fi indie-pop vibes are in contrast with catastrophe and it's a perfect piece to bring the largest smile to ones face.

'A Long Day At The Seaside' invokes Caribbean calypso melodies, it has that joyous escapist sound that recalls one of my favourite albums from 15 years ago, The Beginning Stages of... by Dallas' Polyphonic Spree who No Monster Club have fittingly shared the stage with before, with it's initial choral bent, it's a fantastically chilled out opus which does not over extend its 9 minute length. I feel like I should write a lot more here, but would be better suited to doing so for the July EP release, when I've had a proper go at digesting everything that's going on here. Based on what others have said and this first foray into Bobby Aherne's wizardry, it's going to be a magnificently enjoyable journey.

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