Sunday, 7 August 2016

EP: Rocstrong - SOWYG (Show Off What You Got)

Rocstrong SOWYG Show Off What You Got

Rocstrong - Show Off What You Got (SOWYG)

Info: Most people, like myself, were first introduced to Dublin's Rocstrong via his debut single, 'Go'Head', a powerful opening salvo over the bows of the Irish music scene that still ripples today. Last week saw the official release of his six-track debut EP, SOWYG (Show Off What You Got), and it's accompanying self-titled single video (above). The march into public consciousness continues this coming Friday with the launch night at The Grand Social (more info below).

On opening track 'Get Loose' we're straddling a dizzying number of genres within the opening 30 seconds, there's 50's swing-jazz courtesy of the brass, a funky drumbeat and old school soul with a contemporary twist on the vox, like Prince, Ray Charles and Louis Prima all having a right old jam together. Next up we have the E.P.'s title-track, 'SOWYG', we're launched off into a different direction, Led Zepp-style guitar riffs bring a pounding rock backdrop to an unadulterated and incredibly fun pop track, delivering the message of comfort in your own skin and unbridled confidence.

Whether intended or not, third track 'Just Do It' feels like turning over a playing card to find all of Rocstrong's influences revealed, like a melting pot of every single record he heard from childhood to now poured into just over two-and-a-half minutes, and damn it's catchy and not reliant on frills at all. We're already having a good time when 'Go'Head' arrives, this is the type of track that is arresting, a 'Woah, what am I listening to here?' moment. There's a slight seriousness to it's delivery which balances against the rest of the E.P. nicely, the monotone drums are mechanically sinister, humming and thick bass-lines add to this feeling on what is still one of my favourite Irish tracks of the last two years.

Rocstrong - Go'Head

The funk and dance beats are lit up on 'Block Party - Kaiser', there's an early Daft Punk sound mixed with outrageously fluid funky guitar riffs, whilst Rocstrong stamps his personality all over the track, humour and a strongly delivered pop vocal performance creating a body-popping adrenaline rush that's hard to beat. Closing with 'No Clue', production is again strong here, crystal clear looping guitar riffs act as the vehicle for this chilled out and swinging number. 

In essence Rocstrong has created an incredibly enjoyable collection of tracks and honed his sound to near pop-perfection, when I think of what type of music makes me happy and want to move the usual suspects all spring to mind from the purple patch of the genre in the 80's. Here though, it's the same effect with a different approach, by adding the catchiest elements of rock, funk and soul to his base of pop, it feels like Rocstrong is ripping up the rule book, not throwing it out mind, just rearranging the pages beyond recognition, and with highly rewarding results.

Look / Like / Listen & Follow:

Rocstrong SOWYG Grand Social

Click on Event Poster for more info

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