Saturday, 3 October 2015

E.P. Review: Red Moon Bayonets - A Silent Companion

Red Moon Bayonets - A Silent Companion E.P.

Info: Red Moon Bayonets are a four-piece alternative rock band from Annascaul in Co. Kerry and Dublin founded by front man Vinnie Flynn, with Dan Smith (lead guitar), James Young (drums) and Dave McCleery (bass) completing the line-up. Together for three years now, the band released their debut self-titled E.P. quite shortly after getting together in 2013, this was followed up by their second E.P., The Dark West before the third and latest release, A Silent Companion, in May this year. Consistently strong reviews of their material, coupled with a loyal following has seen Red Moon Bayonets become a regular fixture on festival rosters this year, having played Vantastival, Canalaphonic and the Oxjam Tent at Electric Picnic. Their most recent achievement has been scooping the E.P. of the Year prize at the Pure M Magazine Awards.

Red Moon Bayonets, 'Love of Mine' (Live at Abner Browns)

From the get go on A Silent Companion you are served up with sultry blues rock atmospherics and moods on opener 'Bayonets'. Smouldering vocals and pernicious guitar and percussion call you into the darkness, like the grim reaper through the mist, this reminded me a bit of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club meets Blue Ã–yster Cult, and that's not just because of the aforementioned scythe carrying character. The band have cited Queens of the Stone Age as an influence and you get a first hint of this on 'Alive', it's like a slowed-down version of something off Songs for the Deaf with Flynn's vocals straying into Muse's Matt Bellamy territory. 

Red Moon Bayonets A Silent Companion

Third track 'Endure' adopts a more acoustic approach, something RMB do very well as evidenced by the great performance in the above video, one thing that particularly impressed me on this E.P. was the trembling vocal control exercised on all of the tracks but the last two in particular, it's a distinctive rock sound that suits the music perfectly. The record ends strongly with the excellent 'Our Last Breath' which repeats the openers atmosphere, rhythmically and vocally it reminds me a lot of Marc Bolan and T-Rex but also sees the band delve into a country blues sound, and yes there is that nod to QOTSA again, overall a thoroughly enjoyable rock stomper. Red Moon Bayonets leave their influences in a small box in the corner of the room and pay little heed to them as they have created a unique and individualistic sound that is not common in the Irish music scene at present, or just doesn't approach the quality on display here. 

Red Moon Bayonets will be playing a Halloween Party at The Bello Bar in Dublin 8 on the 30th of October with many other great acts, more details to follow.

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