Saturday 28 February 2015

Cry Monster Cry - 'Rhythm Of Dawn', Album Review

Cry Monster Cry, 'Postcards'

Info: Last month I featured the above single, 'Postcards', from Dublin brothers Cry Monster Cry, their new album, Rhythm Of Dawn, is now on the verge of being released next week on the 6th of March, and they play in Tower Records the following day at 2pm. 

From the outset I've nothing but positive things to say about Rhythm Of Dawn, musically, thematically and lyrically it's difficult to see this as not being considered one of the strongest Irish albums of 2015. There are a lot of bands and artists out the last while that would be labelled as folk, or folk rock, but only in a very narrow sense. Cry Monster Cry have their foundations firmly built on a traditional sound with regard to the genre and are not detached from 1960's and 1970's folk like many of their peers who adopt the sound only from current bands that lie within that loose term. 

This album has two layers regarding it's message as far as I can see, the first being a self-awareness and consciousness of the human spirit, frustrated by unwelcome limitations placed upon oneself and a frustration at not being able to break away from these restrictions. Secondly, and perhaps more overtly, is an homage to home (be that locally or in a wider sense) and heritage. I thought of this side of the album quite a bit when listening to it, mainly because Richie and Jamie mention summer holidays in Donegal and the long journeys there from childhood in their bio, listening to tape compilations, something I can acutely relate to myself as my own mother is from the wilds of Tír Chonaill, thankfully this journey has been reduced from 6-7 hours to about four and a half from those heady days.

So to the songs themselves, the album starts with a bang, 'Darkest Hour, Longest Day' is rooted in 60's psych-folk, reminiscent of The Zombies, Pentangle or Nick Drake, easy going vocal harmonies melded with beautiful guitar plucking. The contemplative feel of the opening track makes way for 'Atlas', you can hear Simon & Garfunkel echoing from those youthful car journeys and the song has a solid rhythm, sombre lyrics dancing with upbeat instrumentation. The fourth track, 'Old At Heart', is perhaps the first track to broach the hometown theme, observing it's faults but understanding that those same faults are an integral part of the protagonists being now.

The following track, 'Gelert's Grave' is a highlight for me personally, it's melodies and vocals are slightly mesmerising and it feels very like a Tim Buckley ballad, like many of the tracks it's slow build up is eventually overtaken by a more driven middle and finale. Of the remaining songs on Rhythm Of Dawn, 'When The Morning Comes' has an undouted Irish folk sound, not just the banjo, but the vocals also, it's quite country as opposed to other songs and I felt a slight strain of Kings of Convenience in there also. Finally, the closing track synopses the whole album, appropriately titled 'Homebird', it's a rousing end to a very good piece of music that I can easily imagine people of every musical hue and none enjoying.

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New Irish Music - David King, 'Ruirteach Blues'

Photo: Allyn O'Neill

Info: David King is a blues musician from Dublin whose debut solo album, Ruirteach Blues, (another name for the River Liffey, and in the context of this album, the Irish word 'raging') is launching on the 20th of March with a live show at The Grand Social, an appropriate location. The album opens with a modern blues twist in the form of 'Down In Flames' (above), a nice gritty honky-tonk style number that you'd almost expect to hear in a scene from Sons of Anarchy. As a major blues guitar fan I really enjoyed a lot of the tracks on Ruirteach Blues, and there were subtle nods to my idol Rory Gallagher ('House Devil Street Angel'), but strong nods to the great John Mayall, particularly on the latter tracks, the cool as a breeze 'Live In A Daydream' and the following track 'No Accolade', really brought up 1969's The Turning Point, harmonicas and vocals to the button. 

Songs like 'Out On The River' and the beautiful closing title track, 'Ruirteach Blues' add a bit of old English folk music to proceedings. Whilst I liked the more upbeat and contemporary blues tracks, I really thought King excelled with his more stripped down numbers, particularly in the latter half of the album, it seems to be where he's at his strongest and reflects his obvious gifts as a proper blues musician best. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, we're sorely lacking good blues artists in Ireland, historically we've had very few, but David King is a worthy man to be flying the flag and Ruirteach Blues is a must for Irish blues fans.

Other tracks I liked were 'Juke Joint', 'What Are You Waiting For?' & 'House Devil Street Angel' has some solid blues guitar riffs going on. 

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Friday 27 February 2015

Interview - Moon Over Sun

Info: Brighton in the U.K. seems to be a bit of a hotbed of great new music at the moment, included amongst the many new acts crossing different genres are experimental electro troupe Moon > Sun. They've just re-released their debut E.P., simply titled, Extended Play, on the gift that keeps giving that is label Little League Records. Touching on the likes of Four Tet and Animal Collective, but free-wheeling off into it's own distance, Extended Play is a really nice collection of four tracks. Whilst all four numbers are enjoyable, I'm finding that the second and third tracks, 'Norway' and 'Over' (both below) are particularly floating my boat, both are spacey, carefree and have nice beats sharing space with some lovely digital ditties and vocals thrown in, also, key to the enjoyment of this E.P. is the diversity between tracks. One of the band who operates the flight deck, Isaac, took time to run through a quick Q & A, and I've decided to let this interview be the last time I moan about Ed Sheeran (for a while anyway). 

Moon > Sun, 'Norway'

Remy: I'm going to start by boring you with a stale interview question, and only because there is currently little information about you online, I'm sorry, but, how did you guys get together?

Isaac: Moon > Sun was initially a solo project of mine I started rather interestingly in late 2013 with the release of a really terrible rap song. Weirdly loads of my friends were into it but it was just an experiment. A year later after producing mediocre (slightly more interesting/experimental) demos I got to the point where I disliked everything I created on my own. I used to hang out with George loads in the summer, we both seemed to share a deep hatred for humanity and spent days on end content with making music. I learn a lot 
from working with him so it only made sense to start a band. Following this the lovely Bish, our great great friend, joined in order to provide fresh bass rhythms, vocals and vibes. We jammed a little over christmas – re-worked a few of the songs from the EP, wrote some more etc, but it kinda felt a little lacking. Recently, best mate and well-known sass queen, Sofia joined in and brought a whole new dynamic, of female vox and classical knowledge with her strong flute game. Super excited to get the new stuff out there.

Remy: Across the four tracks on your debut self-titled E.P. the music is chaotic and takes non-standard experimentation to unusual places, in a good way, is it always in your minds to go a little further to the edges when your putting together tracks?

Isaac: I find when we’re working on tracks we never tend to try too hard to think out of the box, reference or draw influence from other artists and rather try to create exactly what we’re hearing in our heads. It seems like a perfectly controlled and accessible track once we’ve spent 1,309,843 years working on it, but in cases when we’ve shown friends its often evoked puzzled emotions which leads us to understand that we are generally a little bit weird.

Remy: I can hear some evidence of influences on certain tracks like Four Tet's 'Rounds' on 'Microwaves' and Animal Collective on 'Norway', are you fans of either?

Isaac: Personally for me they’re the kind of artists I’ve heard a great deal about but have never properly checked out. The few tracks I’ve heard from either artist are great though, so thanks for the massive compliment! Since I started playing in punk bands before producing this stuff I never really gained a great knowledge for electronic/pop. I need to delve a little deeper. 

Moon > Sun, 'Over'

Remy: On second track 'Norway' there's also a few Atari-esque soundbytes scattered in there, are you retro gaming fans or do you just like the sounds?

Isaac: Literally just loved the sound. We love a tasty bitcrush sometimes which can occasionally result in a freaky 8-bit video gaming vibe. But yeah we love the sound and are indifferent to varied thoughts on the vibe and such.

Remy: On your Bandcamp page you've tagged your sound as 'experimental oddball pop', would you consider yourselves to be a cog in an unofficial and disconnected underground grouping of musicians who are happy to fly under the radar of mainstream music, or is that just romantic hipster poppycock?

Isaac: I really dunno man, I don’t feel we’ve been together long enough or gained enough recognition to justify being part of a scene or labelled by people in a particular way. 

Remy: Taking a step away from your own music for a second, I was watching some of the preview show for The Brit Awards at the weekend and it felt like (not just regarding The Brit Awards) in general there are the same bland acts being pushed time and time again. Coldplay, Jessie Ware to name two, and I swear, it really is only a matter of time before I either wake up beside a naked Ed Sheeran or he's making a fry when I walk into my kitchen some morning, he's fucking everywhere. Does popular music in the UK irritate you at times 
or are you quite indifferent to it?

Isaac: Yup, I’ll be honest, the popular music you’re suggesting really pisses me off, but I mean I’ve been hating music like that for so long I guess I’ve become indifferent in a way. It’s fun to laugh at and occasionally enjoy out of irony, or sometimes even just enjoy – that shit can get tasty!

Remy: Care to share some music / acts that you've come across since the start of the year and we can pop a few streams at the bottom of the interview for the readers?

Isaac: Firstly I think we’ll shoot you the most recent EP from our label mates The Pluto Moons from Brooklyn. I can't describe the overwhelming feeling of joy I found the first time I heard ‘$pooky’. ‘Listen to the EP a lot’ is the best advice I can give right now. 

Remy: I couldn't agree more here, I have the E.P. on my phone and '$pooky' is unreal, a crazily good set of songs.

Isaac: Secondly I’d like you to know about Elvin Brandhi who I was told about through a friend. She really pushes certain boundaries and toys with the concept of what a song can be. It’s consistenly filled with tense heavily manipulated sounds and textures which gives off a super fucked up creepy thing that’s kind of quite beautiful. Strict experimental-ness right here.

Remy: Please rank your fellow Brightonians in order, The Kooks, Electric Soft Parade, British Sea Power, Blood Red Shoes.

Isaac: I don’t really know enough of them to say, but I can assure you there’s a ton of Brighton based bands we’re into (too many to name).

Remy: Are you playing many live shows at the moment, and would you like to play in Ireland? Have you been over before?

Isaac: We actually haven't played many live shows at all, since only being a collective unit from the start of the year. I went over to Ireland when I was young, from what I remember I had a pretty super time, but yeah we’d definitely love to come over and play a show, even a fat tour would go down a treat.

Remy: Finally, how would you feel if you were sitting in your local barbershop reading a Magazine interview with David Guetta and he mentioned this 
really cool band called Moon Over Soon (egregious misspelling is addressed by Isaac below!) that he's listening to at the moment. Would you reach for the shaving razor and end it all there and then or would you ring your Nan like a giddy schoolgirl to tell her the great news?

Isaac: Well first I’d be like ‘shit, I’m in a band called Moon Over Sun, is there another band called Moon Over Soon or is it a typo and actually referring to us??’. If it was the latter, which it probably would be knowing Dave’s broad knowledge of experimental pop, we’d give him a ring and ask for some dolla to produce his next tune for him. Then I’d call my nan and ask her to cook me up some angel delight to celebrate our success.

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Thursday 26 February 2015

The Ricardos - 'Pest' E.P.

The Ricardos, 'Rock N' Roll Animal'

Info: I have to admit that over the last few months if I get sent music from the U.S. I'm a bit quicker to stick it on as soon as I can because with very few exceptions, it's almost always better than good. Thus was the case when I sat down to listen to The Ricardos from Phoenix, Arizona last week. Their first track was instantly appealing to me, as a big fan of The Strokes, and strong memories of how amazing 'This Is It' was when it came out in 2001, opening track 'I Won't Wait' could so easily have been song number 12 on that album. The Ricardos are quite up front about this citing both the New Yorkers and front man Julian Casablancas as influences. So, having enjoyed the first of five tracks I also thought, okay, is this going to be a Strokes tribute release? 

Then there was a bit of a kicker, I can't express how much I love 'Rock N' Roll Animal' which came straight after (above). I've listened to this track on a number of occasions now on my short distance travels this week and I only wish it was 4 times longer. It's like some lost nugget from the 60's, surf rock and garage blending together, a Dick Dale and The Sonics mash-up that is nothing but highly enjoyable. By the time the third track 'Pretty Devils' is underway, you've completely forgotten about what you thought you were going to hear and The Ricardos are lashing out lovely gritty guitars and drums. Over the course of the rest of the E.P. and indeed the aforementioned tracks there's also Lou Reed / Velvet Underground sounds going on, everything combined making Pest one of my favourite non-Irish releases of 2015 so far. There are a few rough edges, particularly on 'Vicki Is A Five Course Meal', but the rawness is part of the charm, and unsurprising, given the fact they are aged between 16 and 18 years of age, god help us all.

The Ricardos, 'I Won't Wait'

Additional Info: 

The Ricardos are from Phoenix Arizona. We are Isaac Soto on lead vocals, Tim Magrady on lead guitar, Matt Magrady on drums, Genesis Jonker on rhythm guitar, and new addition Matthew (#2) Hainlen on bass gutiar.

The Ricardos were started in April 2013 originally by Isaac, Matt and Tim. 
Our primary influences are The Strokes, The Velvet Underground and the solo work of Julian Casablancas. We also all went through a huge (The) Doors phase over the summer.

We're releasing a five song EP called "Pest" through Rubber Brother Records and Citrus City Records on February 20th @ The Trunk Space in downtown Phoenix.

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Monday 23 February 2015

Fox Jaw - Siren's Call

Fox Jaw, 'Siren's Call'

Info: Continuing a trend of accompanying their singles with great videos, (such as previous release 'Kerosene' which was featured on the blog here when it came out last year), Limerick band Fox Jaw have just released 'Siren's Call', the fourth single from their critically acclaimed second album, Ghost's Parade.  

The short film follows the tale of a gentlemen uncovering a box of memories, and finally working up the courage to reach out to a long lost, forbidden love. This video is the bands way of showing their support of the upcoming Marriage Equality Referendum, on 22nd May 2015.

2015 also sees the band release their fifth vinyl release in 12 months, which includes four 7” vinyl releases, one for each of their singles. Each release is a limited edition, hand numbered, transparent coloured vinyl release. The B-Side of each single, features the same song, redone in a different genre, where Fox Jaw have collaborated with artists, DJs, Producers and MCs to produce a variety of takes of their music, from Lounge Jazz, to Swamp Blues & Dub Hip Hop.

If you want to catch the lads live they have a good few live shows coming up next month;

Wed   11th March            Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
Fri      13th March           Sweeney Mongrel's, Dublin
Sat     14th March           Cobblestone Joe's, Limerick
Thurs 19th march           Roisín Dubh, Galway
Fri      20th March           Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise

Saturday 21 February 2015

Kristin Hoffmann - Soundtrack for 'Amazing Space'

Photo: Nico Malvaldi

Kristin Hoffman, 'Amazing Space'

Info: It doesn't happen often, but when I get asked to do a piece that combines my two joys, music and film, it's always a different kind of pleasure. Here we have music from Brooklyn composer Kristin Hoffmann providing the soundtrack to upcoming documentary Amazing Space, courtesy of film-maker Ralph Stevens. The film's title track (above) is a neoclassical song from Hoffmann and it certainly accentuates that feeling of gliding past the stars in deep space, it's also released as a single from the soundtrack which Hoffmann composed in it's entirety. Which brings us to the film itself, described by Stevens as a film; 'that combines music and images of space to capture the cosmos at its peak brilliance.' 

The trailer for Amazing Space below gives a glimpse of what to expect, and also features snippets of Hoffman's other songs from her soundtrack, there's plenty of diversity it would seem, from didgeridoos, traditional indigenous singing to more modern classical pieces. As a self-professed obsessive of all things cosmos-related, I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing Amazing Space which is due out in April. The purpose of the film can also be described as a method of reflection achieved 'By zooming out and feeling the unfathomable vastness and complex perfection of space, that literally surrounds us in every moment, we are able to put our daily lives and personal struggles into greater perspective.'

You can listen to more of Kristin's music here and find out details on the film here

Ghost In A Sundress - 'Impressions From A Ghost' E.P.

Ghost In A Sundress, 'I Fall In Love Too Easily'

                                            Ghost In A Sundress, 'Foxfires'

From: Manchester, U.K.
Released: January, 2015.
Other recommended tracks: 'It Never Rains Around Here'

New Irish Music - VANN MUSIC, 'Boy'


Info: VANN MUSIC are an electro-pop band from Dublin comprising of Aaron Smyth, Phil Costello, Rob Von Bergen & Ross Fortune. On the 6th of March they release their new E.P., Running, with their Irish tour kicking off the following night in The Button Factory. The new E.P. launch comes roughly a year after their debut four-track, Electro Shock Dreams, as well as a busy year of touring, add to that a previous appearance at Electric Picnic, and it's safe to say VANN MUSIC are no longer wet behind the ears.

Despite it's name, the beginning of 'Boy' really reminded me of Bono's vocals circa Achtung Baby and particularly 'Even Better Than The Real Thing' (the Perfecto remix that is) and had a hint of Wild Beasts about it too. There's also clear eighties influences underlying the track but it delivers exactly what it says on the tin, and more importantly it is a very listenable song, the type of synth-pop I'd like to hear more of on the radio, I might actually start listening to the radio again if that were the case! I also really liked their earlier effort (maybe a little bit more) from the previous E.P., 'Life In Real Time', you could easily dance to this tune and it is fizzing with infectious sounds, the chorus is simple but that's how you do it when you know what you're doing, decide for yourself (below)! 

VANN MUSIC, 'Life In Real Time'

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Wednesday 18 February 2015

Jennie Abrahamson - 'Wolf'

Jennie Abrahamson Wolf
Photo by Paulina Persson

Jennie Abrahamson, 'Wolf'

Info: If you haven't heard of Swedish artist Jennie Abrahamson yet you surely will in the very near future. Before the release of her last single, 'The War', she was already receiving plenty of airplay on Clash Music, Q Magazine and BBC Radio 6, had performed with fellow Swede Ane Burn, and toured with one of her idols, Peter Gabriel. Her dark and atmospheric sound touches on the likes of Lykke Li, Bat for Lashes and Kate Bush, with the above song reminding this listener of Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' in the opening bars (indeed she performed her part of the duet for 'Don't Give Up' on tour with Gabriel). 2015 will see the release of her album Gemini Gemini with 'Wolf' and b-side 'Phoenix' due out on the 16th of March. Abrahamson is undoubtedly a special talent who absorbs the creativity and experimentation that can be found in the work of those she admires whilst applying her own artistic individuality to her music, I'm certainly looking forward to sitting down and taking in her full album in the next few months.

Jennie Abrahamson, 'The War'

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Why We Run - 'Comfortable Lie'

Why We Run Comfortable Lie

Why We Run, 'Comfortable Lie'

Info: Sydney band Why We Run release their debut single, 'Comfortable Lie', in tandem with a very unique video for the track, which in parts reminded me of the style used for Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' video. Guitarist Nick Langley explains; 'The clip uses a technique known as Camera Obscura - incorporating a truck, 1000's of photos and many locations. We believe it's possible that Camera Obscura hasn't been used before like this in a music video. Our director, Tim Gibbs, has done videos for Billy Bragg, XTC, Dire Straits, Motorhead and even John Lennon.' I instantly enjoyed both the video and the song itself, 'Comfortable Lie' is a strong indie number that is far more enjoyable than the bulk of what similar artists are putting out at the moment, who have a tendency to come across as quite banal and unoriginal. It creates a sleepy and almost shoe-gaze mood, the vocals are soft and the recurrent guitar riff is melodic, inducing a feeling of placid calm before the rockier finale.

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Sunday 15 February 2015

The Dijon Babes - Sit Tight Be Right

Info: The other evening Dublin trio The Dijon Babes peppered their new track and video, 'Sit Tight Be Right', like Blaine's 'Ole Painless' machine-gun in Predator, through our Twitter feeds. Not usually one to take up the invitation via Twitter I decided to have a listen anyway and I'm very glad I did. 'Sit Tight Be Right' ticks some personal boxes for me, the garage punk feel of the unrelenting drums and bass, the overtly psychedelic vocals and guitar-playing and exquisite lead guitar in the latter half of the track. The breakdown just before the 3 minute mark takes this chaotic LSD trip onto another level, in it's quieter moments it's like The Zombies or The Electric Prunes and there's a feel of newer acts such as The Temples as well, thumbs up.

For more info on The Dijon Babes hit up their Bookface Page:

Saturday 14 February 2015

Vienna Ditto - Hammer And A Nail, Single

Vienna Ditto, 'Hammer & A Nail'

Info: Reading, U.K., act Vienna Ditto have been on the go since 2009, and in their own words they are, 'bonded by a love of dirty Chicago blues and dark psychedelia' that BBC Radio One's Huw Stephens described as Portishead doing a Tarantino soundtrack. Hard to disagree with that description, the swirling winds and intro to their new single, 'Hammer & A Nail' giving a distinctly western feel, and Tarantino's nods to Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns in Django Unchained justify it. 

There's obviously a baroque vibe via singer Hatty Taylor's vocals, which at times reminds me slightly of a mix between Dusty Springfield and Sneaker Pimps' Kelli Ali. Musically there are some nu-jazz inclinations, with brass arrangements mixing with modern electronic sounds and the hammond style keyboards looping us back to a strange blues / psych combination. What could be considered quite complex, comes across with ease and works well, the multiple styles combining to make 'Hammer & A Nail' an original sounding blend of old and new music genres, not to mention a charmingly uplifting song.

* I also really liked this other Vienna Ditto track, it's dirty (good dirty)

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Indian Wells - Mountains, Single

Indian Wells, 'Mountains'

Info: Indian Wells, real name Pietro Iannuzzi, is an Italian electronic musician on the Bad Panda record label. His new LP, Pause, was just recently released with above single, 'Mountains', due out on the 9th of March. The first single from the new album, 'Alcantara' was playlisted by BBC Radio 6's Lauren Laverne as well as Triple J's Mike Shiel. 'Mountains', and indeed the rest of the tracks on Pause, sound like a hybrid of Mount Kimbie and Four Tet and the music is incredibly luscious, I would go as far as saying it's some of the finest electronica I've heard in a long, long time. The track itself is mellow personified, with sleepy beats, gently crackling static and a subtly ominous bass-line creeping just under the surface. I thought 'Mountains' was great, which it is, but then I listened to 'Alcantara', and after that I listened to an older track on Indian Wells' SoundCloud page called 'In The Streets' (below) from his first album Night Drops, magic stuff from Iannuzzi. I could probably write this review again in a month's time and share so much more, for now, I'm digesting! and I can't recommend checking out his SoundCloud (link below) enough.

Indian Wells, 'In The Streets'

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Red Empire - 'Deliver Me' Single

Red Empire, 'Deliver Me'

Info: Together since 2009, Red Empire are putting the final touches on their debut album which will be released in the coming months. 'Deliver Me' is the new single from the band who hail from Dublin and Athlone and the video follows suit from their previous award-winning releases for 'Small Mercies' and 'The Truth Of You', both of which won 'Best Music Video' at The Dublin International Film & Music Festival and The Underground Cinema Awards respectively. 

I have to say that, unsurprisingly, I was initially preoccupied with the video which is very well made by film-maker Daragh Murphy, and it took a few more listens before I focused on the song and music itself. That said, I was aware that the song was a solid effort, and importantly, whilst being radio-friendly, it had a certain edge over what a lot of other bands who are in that space between starting out and possible definitive success are doing. I first listened to it earlier this week and a few more listens over the weekend, coupled with checking out Red Empire's aforementioned singles above on their YouTube channel, only bolsters this conclusion. The piano introduction is flowing and maintains the rhythm of the song throughout, whilst also syncing nicely with the movement of the young dancers in the video. In terms of what it reminds me of, the first band that popped into my head was Cherry Ghost regarding the music, and singer Cahill's vocals tipped toward quite a genre-spanning style, from 80's power rock, to more subtle contemporary tones, a microcosm of which you can find in the very pleasing breakdown at the 3 minute mark.

Without thinking about it too much at the time I watched the video, it naturally appealed to me straight away and Red Empire are certainly a band I could listen to more of. One last thing, the guys skulking around the curtains in the video reminded me of that urban legend (or was it?) of the ghost scene in Three Men and A Baby (33 second mark!).

*Red Empire are playing at the legendary Abner Brown's Barbershop in Rathmines on Thursday, 16th of April.

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Wednesday 11 February 2015

The Journals @ The Workman's Club

Photo: Remy Connolly

Gig Review: "Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." - Oprah Winfrey.

As music venues go, upstairs at The Workman's Club has a lot of appealing characteristics, in the old Georgian building overlooking the Liffey, you feel like you could be in someone's living room, it's a relaxed space and it's intimate. While the downstairs venue regularly hosts big local acts, and therefore reaches a certain standard in terms of set up and sound, upstairs seems to be the opposite, especially when you're dealing with amplification and electrics. Hence my quote, I was looking for some clever quote from a Greek or Roman philosopher on adversity, and the will to triumph, but no one understands adversity more than billionaire Winfrey. For me the upstairs venue let The Journals down on Monday night, and not just them, but the other acts that preceded them, although I only saw impressive rock outfit Voxx, the word on the street even before they had played, was that other support acts Brass Phantoms and Donal Quinn had been gazumped by deadened vocals and unfriendly acoustics.

By the time the headliners took to the floor the place had filled up, a mix of friends, fans and young tourists, and The Journals got stuck in by opening with their most recent tracks 'Mannequin' and 'Habits & Recreations', personally I was delighted to hear these two tracks live for the first time. The clock was against the band as previous sets had overrun their allocated slots, and you could sense that the trio were rushed in trying to fit as many songs into a limited amount of time. As a result, it wasn't until the final two songs of their set that they seemed to have settled and fully gotten into their stride, and they fairly ripped it up. The mood in the room lifted immediately as Moyles and McDowell on guitar and bass seemed to have decided to shrug their shoulders and make the best of a bad situation, condensing whatever they could into the final minutes of the night. One of the best parts of The Journal's performance on the night though was reserved for drummer Alex Cummins, impressive control and sheer energy, his drumming was wild but completely in step with his bandmates and was exhilarating to watch. I enjoyed being on the bus with the super talented Journals, but I look forward to our next trip in the limo, their music deserves far better surrounds.

Photo: Remy Connolly

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Hideous Sun Demon - 'FLEX', Exclusive Irish Premier


Hideous Sun Demon, 'FLEX'

Info: From Perth, Australia, comes the anarchic post-punk quartet of Hideous Sun Demon, a band, you won't forget any time soon, much like the ice-pick that lodged itself in Trotsky's head. I'm very pleased to present the Irish premier of their new video for their track 'FLEX', an experience that preens open your brain with visuals and audio that are set to stun in equal measure. Their reputation is spreading quickly with the band's inclusion on NME's '16 New Favourite Bands' list just last week a sign that we'll be seeing a lot more of them in the foreseeable future. 

Hideous Sun Demon stradle an array of punk and garage acts such as The Pixies, The Knack and if you can imagine a subtle hybrid of The Clash and The Sex Pistols. 'FLEX' itself is a hi-octane powerhouse of a track that drags you along relentlessly before unceremoniously dumping you at the side of the road, dazed and confused, and despite how that might sound, it's an immensely enjoyable experience for the sadists among us. Taken from their debut album, Sweat, plans are already well under way for their second full-length release, with 24 Hour Dinga Party Mix due towards the end of next year. To find out more and peruse their previous releases check out the links below.

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