Friday, November 30, 2012

Video: Radio Room - Synesthesia

Yet another dark video from Highly Stimulating Productions duo Eoin Heaney and Nora Windeck. Synesthesia is the latest single from Radio Room who create bouncy bass heavy pop in the vain of Two Door Cinema Club.

Video: Somadrone - Pulse Of Joy

Pulse of Joy the new single from Somadrone is taken from their forthcoming album 'The First Wave' and features David Kitt on vocals giving one of the standout performances of his career to date.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Video: Simon Bird - All The Houses On My Street Look Exactly The Same

Simon Bird returns with the video for All The Houses On My Street Look Exactly The Same the second single to be taken from 'Sport.' The video is a whopping ten minutes long and features Bird and friends having lots of fun in a forest.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Video: Dogs - East

Dublin Indie-Electro quartet Dogs return with their best single to date East it's a pulsating mix of synths and bass guitar juxtaposed against a bleak lyric delivered by a fine falsetto vocal. We'll be keeping an eye out for Dogs in 2013.

Video: Barry Finnimore - When The Sky Turns Black

When The Sky Turns Black is the first single to be taken from Barry Finnimore's debut album 'Don't Tell Your Secrets To The Wind.' You can pre-order When The Sky Turns Black over on bandcamp now.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: Metz - Metz

Unlike most Canadian bands Toronto 3 piece Metz have a simple philosophy: keep it simple, keep it short and keep it loud! extremely loud! Metz's self titled debut album is one of the finest rock records in recent history; it's thrilling, intense, bombastic. everything a rock record should be. All eleven songs clock in at under 30mins combined. Metz don't mess around, there's no foreplay, they beat you over the head with what they have to say and move onto the next song. Each one a precision audio bomb of distilled anger.

Headache instantly transports you in to 'Rated R' style soundscape of thumping drums and vigorous down-stroking bass while Alex Edkins's vocal delivery echoes P.I.L. era Johnny Rotten in places; it's an echo that becomes louder as the album progresses. Hayden Menzies, drums, immediately announces himself as a contender for Drum-God status with his powerful snare fills and relentless floor-tom work. The high octane riffs are battered home in traditional 4/4 time though the breathless Get Off and Sad Pricks.

By the time Rats starts you realise that each song is a variation on the same musical equation; which is fine, but if you are not already hooked by now nothing that follows will change your mind drastically in favour of Metz; in fact it will probably only irk you further, as an over reliance on several rhythm figures is the albums major flaw. However songs such as Negative Space and Wet Blanket leap forward thanks to the relentless gusto of the three piece.

Metz swagger into a sonic space which has been occupied by Nirvana, BRMC, Kyuss and Sonic Youth in the past; bringing an exuberance to the genre. An exuberance which buys them some leeway and perhaps even some forgiveness for having the chutzpah to stand on the shoulders of such giants. Alex Edkins and Co. have created an album of throbbing disquiet which has blown the cobwebs off of rock 'n' roll. And for that they should be saluted.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Video: Duke Special - How I learned To Love The Sun

Duke Special returns with the video for  How I learned To Love The Sun which sees him indulge in some Californication at the fairground

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Video: The Hot Sprockets - Long Way From Home

The Hot Sprockets return with the video Long Way from Home; the Neil Young-esque country ballad is one of the finest songs the band has produced to date.

Video: Villagers - Nothing Arrived

The latest album teaser from Conor O'Brien is Nothing Arrived it's the most straight forward of the tracks to have appeared from Villagers forthcoming album and it's sure to gain him a lot of mainstream media and radio attention in the coming weeks and rightly so.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Untogether

Letting Up Despite Great Faults return with their second album 'Untogether.' follow up to 2011's critically acclaimed EP 'Paper Crush.'

The opening guitar strums of Visions instantly transport you to early '90s bleak Britain with Shoegaze supremos Ride playing tour guide before a Bernard Sumner-esque style composition of linear guitar parts and sparse synths emerges to cement the bleakness furthermore. Visions sets the tone for 'Untogether' from the off; 10 songs of happy-sad daydream confusion which asks as many questions as they answer. As with earlier releases frontman Mike Lee's lyrics are hauntingly personal, complex and convoluted  So bleak at times that you would be forgiven for wondering if Lee is stealing other people's diaries; as his pen regularly spills a lifetimes worth of tragedy and regret, into a song or two, at a time.

Scratch and Take My Jacket, Pauline continue to pay homage to and plunder the New Order blueprint simultaneously with these dreamy compositions being swept along with Sumner's signature guitar sound and Gillian Gilbert-esque keystrokes prominently placed in the mix; however, both make for pleasurable listening. Mike Lee's sighing whisper vocal delivery can be comforting and almost motherly despite the content. This effect is enhanced by the purposefully unorthodox, lowdown placement of the vocals in the mix; rendering them at times an almost inaudible yet soothing hue of sound. Indeed all the songs need repeated listening to, to fully grasp the lyrical content. You almost need to train your ear not to be distracted by the bouncy happy musical front they are hiding behind. Postcard being a prime example of such tactics. You have no idea what the song is about but you are happy to be swept along by the memorable bouncy synth which propels the track.

Bulletproof Girl and Details Of My World benefit greatly from the vocals being slightly higher in the mix making the most of Mike Lee's soothing tones. The addition of keyboardist Annah Fisette's vocals act as a counter balance to Lee's vocals on Bulletproof Girl the most enjoyable song on the album thus far. Likewise Details of My World seems more accomplished than earlier offerings.with Lee's heartfelt lyrics such as "I can't reach you even when you're in the same room," and a chorus of "Don't you realise that hurts more," really hitting home. The inclusion of a prominent bassline for the first time on the album also helps reduce 'Untogethers' over reliance on synthlines to provide melody.

Breaking offers a momentary rock n roll distraction from its electro leaning predecessors with the aid of distorted guitar. Perhaps it would have served the album better to place this track earlier in the running order as a sudden change in direction earlier in the record may have enhanced the impact of certain songs currently running side by side. The Best Part is probably the most successful of the overly textured songs purely thanks to its bombast. It signals a return to the albums main reference point New Order which is continued on Numbered Days before On Your Mark closes the album in an acoustic haze of reverb. Once again you have to question the running order of the album as yet again it would be more pleasing for the listener if On Your Mark appeared earlier on the album.

Overall despite some beautiful daydream shoegaze songs 'Untogether' lacks the momentum of previous effort 'Paper Crush EP'. It suffers from a lack of diversity; especially in relation to the mixes and the band have not done themselves any favours with a running order which emphasises the similarity of songs and not the differences.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Review: The Statics - Upstairs at Whelan's

We first came across The Statics at's charity event ‘Coast To Coast Tea and Toast’ earlier in the year. We were impressed with the timeless quality of their songs; so much so that we’ve kept an eye on them ever since. And they haven’t disappointed with the release of their d├ębut single Holiday. Its chorus of “You stop and you listen” is apt, because that’s exactly what you do when you hear it, thanks to its memorable, uptempo, modern take on beat music. It would seem that The Statics have acquired an avid fanbase since last we saw them, as the upper saloon of Whelan’s is heaving with eager punters as the band take to the stage.

Liam Gardner (Vocals, Guitars) quickly establishes his singing and songwriting credentials with the jaunty don’t get in my way themed People Talk. Gardner splits time between acoustic and electric guitar. The acoustic songs such as Tomorrow are influenced by the likes of Ray Davies and Lee Mavers and this is reflected both musically and lyrically with the songs bouncing between sunshine melodies and darker lyrical scenarios. The heavier electric songs continue to reflect the aforementioned influences, but with grittier modern influences such as Milburn and Arctic Monkeys coming to the fore.

Much of the bands pizzazz comes from its powerful rhythm section of Jacqueline Campion (Drums) and Thomas Nugent (Bass). Nugent’s walking basslines add warmth to compositions such as Easy To Forget which hang on his melodic lines. Potential single Down gets the crowd, gleefully, singing along to its one word chorus of “Down, down, down.” The upbeat radio friendly feel continues on the Simon and Garfunkel tinged Had It Too which has the potential to be a major stepping stone in the bands quest for success, such is its infectious nature.. Hidden Pidgeon is also a delight; and probably The Statics’s finest rock composition. When Daragh O’Connell (Lead Guitar, Vocals) gets the chance to deliver a big riff he certainly seizes it; however, much of his work is subtle,accentuating the song ahead of his ego.

Potential is a word which is bounded about in music reviews to the point of tedium, but The Statics have it and so much more. They just need a record company to take a chance on them and let them do what they do, write damn fine pop songs.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Video: EATEBYBEARS - Your Pet Is Dead

Your Pet Is Dead is the latest track by Belfast art rockers EATENBYBEARS. The track is currently available for free on Bandcamp So go download it, it'd be rude not to.

Video: O Emperor - Electric Tongues

Latest single Electric Tongues is yet another cracking track from atmospheric 5 piece rockers O Emperor.

O Empoer are currently on tour, so be sure to head along to one of these dates.

Nov 17th - Cleeres Theatre, Kilkenny. Nov 22nd - Roisin Dubh, Galway.
Nov 23rd - Whelans, Dublin. Nov 24th- Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Video: Alias Empire - Lay Down

Lay Down is the first single from Alias Empire's second album 'Safety In Numbers.' 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Video: Le Galaxie - Human Elavator Remix

Le Galaxie deliver their unique take on one of the finest Irish tracks of the year Human Elevator by The Cast Of Cheers.

Video: The Lost Brothers - Blue Moon In Sptember

The Lost Brothers have returned with their third album 'The Passing Of The Night'. The critically acclaimed due have been taking America by storm since the release of their previous effort 'So Long John Fante' (2011). They also picked up quite a few notable fans along the way including Brendan Benson who subsequently took the band under his wing. Blue Moon In September certainly won't disappoint the initiated.

Video: Wounds - No Future

No Future is the latest single from Dublin rockers Wounds. The video is set in an American style house party gone wild.

Video: Kodaline - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Here's a hilarious cover of  We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift performed by Kodaline on the Giel Beenen radio show in Germany.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Jape - The Grand Social 03/11/12

With jubilant life affirming lyrics, such as “Celebrate what it is to be young.” It was fitting that The Grand Social picked Jape to lead the celebrations at their second birthday party. The group would deliver a vibrant performance of material from their award-winning albums and treat the crowd to several new songs destined for the bands next album.

Electro duo White Collar Boy were given the privilege of getting the party started and more than held their own with an enjoyable set, consisted mostly of atmospheric instrumental tracks, which set the mood perfectly for what was to follow. The lights dimmed to pitch black as Jape took to the stage, but the band had brought a special surprise to the party, their very own light show. Four strips of light would cast the band in silhouette for the duration, as pulsating light was emitted from over their shoulders. Cleverly for a band with an album entitled ‘Ocean Of Frequency’ the light show would culminate in a formation resembling a television test card. A knowing reference to the recent digital switchover which had released its own ocean of frequency.

One of the most interesting things about Jape’s live show is that it can can take on several different configurations, with an emphasis on either live or electronic instrumentation and the band’s ranks can swell or diminish for each permutation. Tonight Jape would be performing as a duo with frontman Richie Egan and multi instrumentalist Glen Keating presenting their material primarily with the help of synths and triggers. 

Hands In Fire and Too Many People quickly set the pace with Jape’s signature thinking mans pop, before new song After Collapse offered a dark brooding alternative. Indeed much of Jape’s new material, such as  Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon feels more like sonic sculptures then traditional songs. However, afro-beat tinged Woman retained Jape’s more upbeat and playful side, with Glen Keating furiously swinging a tambourine with all of his might.

Ocean Of Frequency and Strike Me Down commenced a swell of crowd interaction before The Oldest Mind instigated an en mass singalong of “Celebrate what it is to be young.” With the band breaking the song down and turning the lights up on the crowd to prolong the moment of unity. Just as it seemed the performance couldn’t get any better Floating turned things up to eleven. A long teasing intro eventually erupted into the crowd singing every word of the song.

Jape never cease to entertain and every show is a unique experience of the highest order. They are without a doubt one of the finest bands this country has ever produced and it’s just a matter of time before the rest of the world realises.