Sunday, August 25, 2013

Video: Wolf Trap - World On Fire

Former Zombie Cops frontmen Jamie Hughes and Kevin Fagan have reunited once more to form Wolf Trap. The Dublin trio who also contain Jack Glacken on keys have released a live performance video for their track World on Fire. Early indications are that Wolf Trap's material will be considerably less bombastic than Zombie Cops material, traversing more forlorn atmospheric soundscapes instead.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Video: Kowalski - Longer The Night Lasts

Kowalski are back with the second of four 'For The Love Of Letting Go' live session performances. This time round the Bangor four piece perform Longer The Night Lasts  which displays a gentler reflective side to the group who normally deliver their heartache laden lyrics upon a bed of bouncy pop tones. The video is once again directed by longtime collaborator Babysweet.

Video: VerseChorusVerse - Our Truth Could Be Their Lie

Our Truth Could Be Their Lie the latest song from VerseChorusVerse has a surf tinged rockabilly feel which comes across wonderfully in this live performance video.

Video: The Radioactive Grandma - Don't Look Down

The Radioactive Grandma had us all worried when they kept saying "Get your wrists out for the lads" a while back but, it all makes sense now thanks to the release of their hand-puppet themed video Don't Look Down.

Review: Tame Impala Live at The Olympia Dublin 21/08/2013

A cyclone of pastel crayon colours created the perfect vortex of visuals to accompany the masterclass in psychedelic crescendos Perth five-piece Tame Impala delivered with effortless vigour as Kevin Parker brought his expansive brand of Lonerism to Dublin’s Olympia Theatre last night. Julien Barbagallo’s joyful happy-go-lucky approach to the drums provided the focal point on stage but his bouncy head and seemingly effortless movement couldn’t betray the level of musicianship on stage as Tame Impala filled every nook and cranny in The Olympia with swaths of intricate floaty motifs and coda after coda.

Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind? set the psychedelic pace with the rhythm section of Barbagallo and Cam Avery (bass) laying down a tight groove enabling Parker and Co. to build an expansive intertwining soundscape. But it was by no means ninety minutes of floaty rock ‘n’ roll. Parker’s guitar was about as polite as a Panzer tank at times laying waste to everything in its path through the frequent improvised jam sections. Solitude Is Bliss was an early highlight, Parker’s soft vocals resonating perfectly against the kind of groove many a band have been lost in the wilderness in search of to resurrect their careers. Keep On Lying continued the feel-good atmosphere with Parker once again setting his guitar to Panzer. The crowd duly responded by singing back the simple but catchy melody break.

The excellent Music To Walk Home By kept the crowd singing along with “it’s only when I think of you” repeatedly filling the air. The outro groove led into a reprise of Solitude Is Bliss, a technique which heightened the psychedelic experience with more a than a few “didn’t they already play this?” expressions visible throughout the crowd.  Hit single Elephant delivered the kind of Jagger swagger that Maroon 5′s accountants can only dream of. Even grittier live than on record with bass and drums pounding home the hypnotic groove, but it’s Dominic Simper’s synth work which gives Elephant an added dimension.

Be Above It and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards exemplified the influence of the Beatles on Tame Impala, Be Above It tapping into the experimental leanings of Lennon while the superb Feels Like We Only Go Backwards  provided the kind of blissed out moments of unity the assembled crowd had come to experience. Kevin Parker’s dreamy vocal combined perfectly with a bass-line reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s heyday.

An extended Apocalypse Dreams closed the first section of the show by attempting to send a sonic message into outer space before the band returns for an encore with It’s Not Meant To Be. Things are momentarily delayed as Parker dons an Irish flag, and a brief rendition of Olé, Olé, Olé breaks out before an extended version of Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything That We Could Control descends into a psychedelic mush of future memories.

Photo: Aaron Corr

Friday, August 23, 2013

Video: Liza Flume - Swords

Liza Flume is quickly becoming Ireland's cult songstress of choice. 2013 has seen her become a prominent figure in the festival circuit and justifiably so, thanks to haunting, heartfelt songs such as What We Called Love. Latest video Swords continues to unfold the darker side of Flume's experience and her honesty is sure to win her even more fans.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Kid Karate - Lights Out EP

Z-list celebrity-creating pseudo-reality TV show ‘Fade St.’ has a lot of things to apologise for but Kid Karate certainly isn’t one of them. In fact the band is an unforeseen by-product of the show and is its only saving grace. Expectations for the Dublin duo’s début four-track EP ‘Lights Out’ have been heightened thanks to a series of hilarious and breathtaking high-octane live shows which have marked them apart from the hordes of bands in Dublin.

Kid Karate unleash their guitar/drum/vox volcano straight away with single Two Times which is about as subtle as a YouTube street brawl.  Kevin Breen vocalist/guitarist teeters on the edge as he lays down a quagmire of distortion and angsty vocals as drummer Steven Gannon tries to play ringmaster whilst simultaneously egging his companion on. American influences abide but Two Times’ chorus grabs you in such a way that this almost becomes irrelevant.

Heart continues the doctrine that one Big Muff isn’t enough with riffs that are impossibly rich and thick like triple chocolate cake. The inclusion of placid piano breaks and electro loops indicate influences beyond QOTSA such as LCD Soundsystem. When Breen bellows “If I had a heart I would love you” classic male commitment issues shine through making the track universally accessible.  An ’80s vibe permeates the octave key, bass and delayed guitar stab out the intro to This City and the lyrics 180 on the male commitment issues through the verses: “I think we should start a family,” while the choruses lament the vacuous lifestyle of city living: “in this city you’re dead.”
‘Lights Out’ is the perfect precursor for Kid Karate’s début album ‘Night Terrors’ due to drop later this year. No doubt comparisons with The White Stripes, Giveamanakick and indeed Cast Of Cheers’ side project Charmers will be forthcoming and somewhat justified but Kid Karate can more than hold their own at an advanced level of combat.

Video: Ghost Estates - Winters Day

2013 has been pretty succesful for Ghost Estates so far they've released some critically acclaimed singles and won over a legion of new fans via host of successful festival appearances. It would also seem that the band have decided to draw a line under the material from their debut album announcing Winters Day as the final single. Let's hope that this indicates new material isn't very far away.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Video: Kowalski - Sunroom

Bangor pop rockers Kowalski have released  the first of four live sessions featuring songs taken from their debut album 'For The Love Of Letting Go' the follow up to their much loved  EP  'Take Care, Take Flight'. First up is Sunroom which typafies the groups bouncy happy sad sound.The videos are recorded by long term collaborator Babysweet. You can listen to the entire album here

Review: Haüer - The Infinitesimal EP

Released through Future City Records, which celebrates all things ’80s be it music, pop culture or sci-fi, the début EP by Haüer, ‘The Infinitesimal,’ is a five strong collection of cinematic sci-fi instrumentals that are crying out to be heard in a cinema near you soon. Each track is perfect to accompany a daring rescue or a maximum security prison breakout. Perhaps they are a tad too scenic in comparison to the vigour of acts such as LeGalaxie to find their way on to the dance floor but, they are the perfect soundtrack to a sci-fi daydream.

Homesfires sets the ambience for the rest of the EP perfectly, showing flashes of the upbeat and brooding soundscapes that unfold throughout the five tracks. Though Haüer never quite reach the epic heights of Chariots of Fire they certainly create four-dimensional terrains and the influence of  Ultravox, Kraftwek and Vangelis comes crashing through.

Interceptor feels like a cinematic musical fragment rather than a fully realised composition. It has a Mega City vibe to it slowly building to a crescendo before crashing and rising from the rubble; presumably to victory. Colony Children on the other hand feels like its potential has been fully harnessed with several synth lines combining successfully to give this track a start, middle and end.

‘The Infinitesimal EP’ concludes with Helicop which tussles with Colony Children to be the standout track. A throbbing bass line is flanked by butterfly synth motifs as Haüer finally make it on to the dance floor delivering a cinematic happily-ever-after. It’s by no means perfect or compelling enough for everyday listening, but Haüer have delivered a perfectly credible addition to the sci-fi niche of cinematic synth-pop.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Video: Swords - Lions and Gold

Following the success of single All The Boys Swords have returned with an animated video for their latest single Lions and Gold

Swords headline Whelans on July 5th buy tickets here  

Video: Croupier - Power Up

Croupier are back with the video for new single Power Up taken from their forthcoming 'Visor EP.'  Power Up begins with one of those chirpy tropical synth splashes that have become so prominent in the alt-Irish scene over the last 18 months or so, but that's where conventional ends for Croupier. Power Up stampedes through several riffs before exploding into the final refrain of "Outside, outside, outside," hammers the song home. At times it's hard to tell where the verses end and the chorus begins or indeed if there actually is chorus at all. But that's what makes Croupier standout from the crowd in the Irish music scene at present.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: The Statics - Hidden Pigeon

Short and sweet and very, very good was the Buddy Holly blueprint which The Beatles and others adhered to during the pop explosion of the ’60s. ‘Hidden Pigeon’ the debut EP from Dublin beat quartet The Statics takes the same approach to song writing. Each track built with layers of distilled melody crammed into 3 minutes of joyful escapism. 

Once title track Hidden Pigeon emerges from a languid intro it quickly establishes each band member’s individual credentials as musicians. The interplay between the rhythm section of Jacqueline Campion (Drums) and Thomas Nugent (bass) is impressive with walking melodic basslines and tip top snare work creating a throbbing base for Liam Gardner (Vocals/guitar) and Daragh O’Connell (Guitar/Vox) to build upon. O’Connell’s guitar switches between playful staccato jerks and funky moments while a double tracked solo bounces between the gaps. While Gardner’s Vocals are in the instantly recognisable category think Liam Gallagher with a Dublin drawl and the ability to hit more notes.

Alone is the EP’s standout moment. It’s a perfect pop song; simple, relentless, and memorable from start to finish. Every vocal line is a hook and every note played demands to be hummed in response. Once again it is reminiscent of pop’s heyday, but there isn’t a hint of pastiche to be heard anywhere. The Statics clearly possess the ability to create tracks which stand up to the shadow of their influences. The Statics have created a vivid EP which indicates they will have a lot to offer in the future.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Video: Swords - All The Boys

Swords are fast becoming one of the most hotly tipped bands in the country with rave reviews and airplay flooding in from all over the country, and having caught the trios recent appearance at the Camden Crawl it's easy to understand why. Current single All The Boys sets forth their style of alternative synth pop perfectly. If you like what you hear check them out live this summer.

Upcoming shows include:
 5 July 2013 - Whelans - Dublin - Headline (Buy Tickets) 
7 July 2013 - Groove Music Festival (Buy Tickets) 
4 Aug 2013 - Indiependence Music & Arts Festival (Buy Tickets)

Video: Saint John The Gambler - Lemonade Man

Lemonade Man is the first single from Saint John The Gamblers' latest album  'Five Miles To Vaudeville.' The video is a colourful celebration of the Speakeasy subculture of prohibition America which perfectly reflects both the song and the bands overriding style.

Review: Vanilla Gloom - Vexed

‘Vexed’ the début EP from Belfast based girl group Vanilla Gloom sees the young trio wearing their grunge and alternative ’90s influences on their sleeves with some aplomb; with Pixies, L7, and Sonic Youth permeating its three tracks.

Opening track Wolves begins with a Kim Deal-esque cho cho bassline, quickly joined by a lead guitar line which drips ‘Bossanova’ era Pixies. Megan O’Kane’s vocal is, as the EP’s title would suggest, vexed. Her downbeat speak-sing patter suits the song perfectly embodying the disaffected and socially awkward lyrics.

There’s a Never Say Never-esque grove to the intro and verses of Lemons and Wine which is the EP’s standout moment. Shannon O’Neill takes lead on this track  and is as effective as her bandmate O’Kane, even delivering the knockout line of the EP “There is no us/There is no us.” Final track Vultures continues the formula of quiet-loud, verse, chorus and doesn’t quite have the impact of the previous tracks, though the harmonies, provided by O’Neill and Kane, are impressive.

Vanilla Gloom definitely have something about them, despite the obvious influences there isn’t a hint of inauthenticity about their songwriting and performance and if they can step beyond these influences they have the potential to be the best all-girl group Ireland has produced

Review: Young Aviators - Self Help

Young Aviators are an Irish trio who decamped to Glasgow and honed their sound; a mix of birthing room brit pop and US indie disco dirge, touring with the likes of Reef and The Subways. Following several EP’s they have released a 9 song début, ‘Self Help.’

Opening track Sunrise on the Motorway initially sets forth a Brian Jonestown Masacre-esque swagger of hazy harmonies and fuzz tone guitars before exploding into a raucous, alternative ‘80s style riff: think She Sells Sanctuary meets U2. It’s an unexpected but rewarding segue. Single, Forward Thinking is an early highlight thanks to its truly memorable chorus hook of “Oh oh, need to start some forward thinking”, once again a strange but luscious combination of influences combine wonderfully to create a real pop treat with Decky McKay (Guitar/Vox) filling the roles of Albarn and Coxon beautifully as early britpop guitar led verses are juxtaposed against more contemporary bouncy bass grooves throughout the choruses. McKay’s top notch guitar solo is the icing on the britpop cake though, outshining many of the genre’s forefathers in the process.

As ‘Self Help’ progresses, the happy-go-lucky speed-kick pop turns darker and grittier as the influence of Alex Turner and the Jarman brothers becomes apparent. Thankfully the material is just as effective with tracks such as A Love To Change Your Ways and Future Pill maintaining the authenticity of the initial barrage.

Deathrays in Disneyland is a thoroughly unexpected left turn from rock road to piano ballad boulevard and, whilst it offers some respite from the albums nonstop nature, it ultimately it feels out-of-place in this collection. Young Aviators indulge in some transatlantic aping on We’ve Got A Name For Folks Like You  as things go Americana, disco rock with Kyle Haughey’s distorted driving bass parts leading the line as Decky McKay delivers a deadpan speak-sing vocal. This is taken one step further on Rejection Letter. Imagine OK Go covering Elastica for a tribute album, add a hint of Nada Surf and you’re in the zip code where things that really shouldn’t work do.

Sunset on the Motorway successfully bookends the album with a reprise of the opening track, once again highlighting the band’s penchant for harmony and noise with equal abandon.  What lies in-between is a quirky fun-filled record of spiky pop gems. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Video: Mykel - Hold On

Dubliner Mykel aka Michael Fitzpatrick is back with his latest single and the lead track from his debut EP 'Hold On'. The video confronts one of Ireland's most pressing problems, suicide, head on. It's great to see Irish artists tackling major social issues such as this. And as the artist himself has proven in his own life, it's never too late to change your direction for the better.

Remix: The Casanova Wave - Everybody In The Night

The Casanova Wave have released a surprisingly chilled remix of The Dead Heavys' Everybody In The Night. The Retro Gradestep Remix  gives the track an 8 bit tinged makeover with summer dance-tent vibes.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Listen: Ghost Estates - In Waves

Ghost Estates contribution to this years Record Store Day is the effervescent In Waves. A vibrant, catchy, hook laden track which will have you reaching for the start button as soon as it finishes. The Ghost Estates release In Waves as one half of a split 7" single with TwinKranes having the honour of appearing on the other side with The Wizard.

Video: Hot Sprockets - Soul Brother

The Hot Sprockets have returned with a new single Soul Brother set for release on Record Store Day April 20th. The quality of The Hot Sprockets material has increased significantly in recent times and Soul Brother continues the upward trend. The band will be playing 3 shows on Sat. April 20th in conjunction with the release of the single in The Secret Book Store, Tower Records and Whelan's before embarking on a nationwide tour.

Video: No Monster Club - A Better Fit

No Monster Club have released a video of bear-suited hijinxs for A Better Fit which features on Popical Island's new compilation album 'Community Games.'

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Free Music: Kid Karate

To celebrate their SXSW appearance Kid Karate have posted 5 of their songs on soundcloud to download for free including singles Two Times and This City.

Video: SOnance HOtel - Sub-Dude

Former Humanzi/The Mighty Stef alumni Brian Gallagher has returned with his latest single Sub-Dude under the moniker of SOnance HOtel. The track has a current of morose sunshine running through it similar to early Doves material. It's bleak and claustrophobic yet somehow spacious and uplifting at the same time. Gallagher's voice has a gritty, knowing, ethereal quality to it which blends wonderfully with the sonic architecture beneath it.

Listen: Liza Flume - Poison (Daithi Remix)

Loop pedal protagonist Daithi has remixed Liza Flume's track Poison from her debut EP 'Full Steam Ahead'. Daithi has given the track an unexpected early '90s dance feel far removed from Flume's romantic folk output. Hopefully this mini collaboration will lead to a full blown partnership between the two artists in the future.

Video: Conor Linnie - The Fire I'm Kindling

Conor Linnie recently released his debut album 'Astray' (review coming soon) it's one of the finest debuts by an Irish singer/songwriter in quite some considerable time. Here is the video for The Fire I'm Kindling the first single to be taken from the album.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: The Killers - The O2 Dublin

Finally getting round to posting this review which first appeared on Goldenplec where I'm a Sub-editor. It's been a crazy journey with this review, thanks to Debbie Hickey's "Killer-Lego" photography which yielded Scandinavian press interest, Mexican DJ retweets, and even some press coverage in The Killers home town of Las Vegas. Thanks also to all the lovely folks back home in Ireland who also embraced it.

A sold out O2 saw a master class in arena rock when rejuvenated Las Vegas quartet The Killers brought their ‘Battle Born World Tour’ to Dublin. Brandon Flowers and co delivered a career spanning 20 song set of hit singles, and tracks from their critically acclaimed comeback album ‘Battle Born’.

Commencing with a rousing rendition of Mr Brightside, Flowers quickly set the tone for what was to follow, as he vigorously strided the stage, air-drumming and urging the crowd on with hand gestures and platitudes such as “It’s good to be home.”  There was no “Hello Shelbyville” moment as Flowers successfully negotiated the lead-singer conundrum of where am I? With repeated references to Dublin throughout the show with even a brief mention for “picketing” (Garda). There was even time for a cringe worthy recital of Dublin’s motto “The obedience of the citizens produces a happy city.” But Flowers just about pulled it off by countering it with, “the motto of our town is ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’” much to the delight of the crowd.

The Way It Was quickly illustrated the musical journey which the Killers have undertaken since their début album ‘Hot Fuss’ was released in 2004. It’s a perilous journey from synth heavy faux-Brit New Wav pop to dust-bowl rockers, but it would seem that the band have finally managed to realign; the purity of their intent, with the quality of their output. Standing on the shoulder of legends like Bruce Springsteen; The Killers have successfully carved themselves a niche in the open-road songbook of America

A clever set list meant that material from ‘Hot Fuss’ or ‘Battle Born’ were never more than a song or so away, ensuring the crowd were always engaged, however songs such as Bling, Spaceman, and For Reasons Unknown didn’t seem out-of-place, or lacking in quality, nestled between hits, such as, Smile Like You Mean It, Human, and Somebody Told Me.  On the basis of tonight’s performance the much maligned material in-between critical success warrants re-examination.

As the hits rolled on, the on-stage antics got more and more rock’n’roll as fireworks exploded and glitter fell from the sky. Flowers even attempted the patented Elvis arm-roll at one point, but for all his theatrics, between song monologues, and instrument hoping, the most impressive thing about his performance was his voice, which is surprisingly strong and agile, but also capable of subtle inflexions. A mini cover version of U2’s With Or Without You prior to Read My Mind proved his voice can mix it with established rock Gods.

Unfortunately for The Killers a small fight broke out in the crowd prompting Brandon Flowers to halt proceedings mid-song and have the offenders thrown out of the building. Although this was undoubtedly the right thing to do, it set back the momentum of the show for a while. However, a rousing version of All These Things That I have Done closed the first section of the show beautifully, with the entire audience singing along as if their lives depended on it.

A three song encore of Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine, When You Were Young, and Battle Born enraptured the crowd. The Who-esque chord changes rattled the rafters, while fireworks exploded and the last remaining pieces of glitter fell to the ground, as the band rocked through an extended outro of Battle Born. While Flowers left the stage to shake hands with the front row of the crowd. It was a fitting way to end the night. The Killers seem determined to return to the upper echelons of rock’n’roll and with live shows like this they have more than a fighting chance,

Review: David Bowie - The Next Day

Rock ‘N’ Roll chameleon David Bowie returns with his 24th studio album entitled ‘The Next Day’ following a ten-year recording hiatus. Legendary producer and Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti is at the helm once again having reignited Bowie’s creative flame on preceding albums ‘Heathen’ and ‘Reality.’ As such ‘The Next Day’ is the natural successor to those albums creating yet another trilogy in the Bowie cannon, rather than the quadrilogy implied by the album’s title and art work (which recasts the cover of seminal album ‘Heroes’) and Berlin-centric lead single Where Are They Now?.

However, that is not to say that ‘The Next Day’ isn’t a reflective album, as much of the albums fourteen tracks (and three bonus tracks) hark back, either lyrically or sonically to some aspect of Bowie’s heyday. Opening track The Next Day finds Bowie traversing a sonic cousin of Joe The Lion and TVC 15 with suitably fiery lyrics “Here I am not quite dying, my body left to rot in a hollow tree, its branches throwing shadows on the gallows for me.” Bowie’s voice all the while sounding rejuvenated and bizarrely similar to Sisters of Mercy frontman Andrew Eldritch. It’s a track that lays down a marker from the outset.
Second single The Stars (Are Out Tonight) displays Bowie’s remarkable knack for creating simple and memorable melodies. Gael Ann Dorsey’s dancing bassline is mimicked by Bowie’s “oh oh oh oh” backing vocal which the track hangs upon. The fluffiness of the melody is counteracted by the ponderous lyrics on celebrity culture

Emotive lead single Where Are They Now?, centres on the fear experienced by people moving from East to West Berlin, rather than any personal experience Bowie may have had whilst living in Berlin. It’s an unusual but worthwhile lyrical subject, which ponders the post-war European experience. Oddly It is also one of the tracks which most ties ‘The Next Day’ to Bowie’s previous brace of albums as it sits more comfortably alongside tracks such as The Loneliest Guy and Bring Me The Disco King.

 I’d Rather Be High leaps forth as a probable single thanks to its flower-power-esque eastern tinged guitar riffs; but if you delve past the joyous surface, there is an abstract dream-sequence of lyrics referring to Nabokov naked on a beach, generals in Cairo and Bowie lying down on his parents’ grave. Somehow these dispirited elements connect to create a thoroughly enjoyable song. (You Will) Set The World On Fire begins with a guitar riff straight out of the Aladdin Sane playbook before reeling through a white soul era-esque chorus. It’s a nonsensical highlight that’s sure to be a live favourite, when the non-touring Bowie tours.

It’s Bowie’s most coherent collection of songs since Let’s Dance and his finest collection of rock songs since ‘Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)’. This is probably a result of sticking largely to guitar based music since 1997’s ‘Hours…’  A steady improvement has followed on each subsequent release and ‘The Next Day’ is no different. And it could have been stronger still, if  bonus material, such as, So She and I’ll Take You There had been included on the album proper. It’s quite an achievement for an artist to better his previous 10 albums, but that’s exactly what Bowie has done on ‘The Next Day.’

Review: Suede - Bloodsports

2013: The year of the comeback continues with a reformed and refueled Suede delivering ‘Bloodsports’ a collection of songs which could nestle comfortably between their eponymous début and 1996’s ‘Coming Up’ as if 1994’s ‘Dog Man Star’ never existed (thankfully it does) such are the similarities in sound, ambience and lyrical wit.

The opening blasts of Barriers delivers trademark glam rock fuzz tones and tremolo notes, minus the glitter. Brett Anderson’s lyrics are vividly quizzical as ever, full of lustful memories and sexual affirmation; after all it wouldn’t be Suede without sex to the fore.

Snowblind is probably the most Bernard Butler-esque sounding song that Suede has produced since the original guitarist parted company with the band and was replaced by Richard Oakes upon the release of ‘Dog Man Star.’ Snowblind evokes the original knowing glint of songs such as The Drowners, which initially captured the hearts of pre Brit pop teens. Snowblind is followed by radio friendly single It Starts And Ends With You ensuring that ‘Bloodsports’ is front loaded with quality tracks.

It’s as if The Edge and Robert Smith have combined to pen the guitar parts in Sabotage, the first of several splendid dark ballads on the album.  For The Strangers is reminiscent of fan favourite B-Sides such as Where The Pigs Don’t Fly and is sure to resonate with original fans.

However, don’t be fooled by all these references to past glories Suede aren’t simply regurgitating chord sequences and “La La, La La, La” melody breaks willy nilly; though Anderson does manage to squeeze one in on Hit Me. They have clearly pushed themselves to create something worthy of coming back for and to. This process was no doubt helped by the return of notoriously hard-taskmaster Ed Buller as producer.

Songs such as Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away and What Are You Not Telling Me, successfully showcase Anderson’s powerful and dramatic vocal range in a way not seen since the high drama of ‘Dog Man Star.’ And While Richard Oakes may always stay in Bernard Butler’s shadow, he has certainly moved somewhat into the light, thanks to his performance on this record.

‘Bloodsports’ easily swaggers into the top four Suede albums. “Celebrate” as Anderson sings on Faultlines. The year of the comeback has delivered once again.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Video: Tandem Felix - Tell Yer Loved Ones

Tell Yer Loved Ones is the first track to be taken from Tandem Felix's forthcoming EP 'Popcorn.' Judging by the lush sounds of Tell Yer Loved Ones, which is reminiscent of the early ethereal output from The Verve, 'Popcorn' will be just as enjoyable as the movie munchies it's named after.

Video: Eulogys - In Ink

Dublin duo Eulogys have released a video for In Ink, the first single to be taken from their upcoming EP 'Kingfisher and Hummingbird.' The track is a chimerical slice of dreamy acoustic pop reminiscent of MGMT and We Are Trees. In Ink will have you reaching for the replay button thanks to its infectious hooks. Eulogys are definitely ones to listen out for in 2013.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Video: Oddsocks - Somethings Goin' On

Originally from Sligo, Dublin based rhythm and groove quartet Oddsocks have released a very dark and very impressive video for Somethings Goin' On ahead of the release of their EP which bares the same name later this month on their own label Jeanie Mac Records. Somethings Goin' on is built on a bed of '70s bass and jazz keyboards and funky guitar stabs set against Oddsocks rich four-part harmony vocals. This will definetly appeal to fans of The Average White Band.

Something Goin' On from Oddsocks on Vimeo.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Video: Protobaby - Microchip

The latest single from Limerick quartet Protobaby Microchip is part Whipping Boy, part Sisters of Mercy, part Editors. Thanks to the combination of Colm McGuinness hushed speak/sing vocals and stark lyrics set against a ghotic soundscape powered by '80s tinged bassline and slash chords. Microchip comes in the rarest of formats, a double A sided single paired with Noboby Knows via Cork's FIFA Records.

Festival News: Camden Crawl 2013 - Irish Acts Announced

Camden Crawl have announced a host of Irish acts to play the second annual Dublin Crawl May 3rd to 5th. It's an impressive list of artists including We Cut Corners, Windings, Sleep Thieves and Kid Karate.

Other acts also announced include Fight Like Apes, Girl Band, Daithi, Lemonada, Nanu Nanu, Bantum, Swords, The Notes, Kool Thing, Squarehead, The Holy Roman Army, Low Sea, O Emperor, Bouts, Skelocrats, White Collar Boy, Owensie, Mossy Nolan, Cloud Castle Lake,  The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, The Casanova Wave, Ships, Dogs, Forrests, Orquesta, Cian Nugent, Orla Gartland, Inni-K, Peter Delaney, Unwinding Cables, Faune Miracle Bell, and Le Galaxie (DJ Set).

It's stacking up nicely ahead of the international act announcements in the near future. Tickets here are very reasonable at €35 for a one day pass and €55 for a weekend pass.

Video: Hermitage Green - Song For Paul

Song for Paul is a touching tribute to Paul Darbyshire of  the Munster Rugby team backroom staff by Limerick 5 piece Hermitage Green. Darbyshire sadly passed away following a long fight with Motor Neurone Disease. Hermitage Green have created a poignant toast to a man who brought much joy to many peoples lives.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Video: Mykel - Sweet Valentine

RTE's TV-talent show 'The Hit' which pitted songwriters against songwriter may not of won any ratings wars but at least sought to promote and encourage creativity unlike almost every other show in this cluttered genre of television. 

Dubliner Mykel aka Michael Fitzpatrick participated in 'The Hit' and has released his debut single Sweet Valentine (featuring Ali Fisher)  ahead of the release of his debut EP 'Hold On' later this year. Sweet Valentine is a surprisingly accomplished broody song, which towers over the output of many a regular mainstream radio playlist entrant.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Video: Villagers - The Bell

Villagers return with the video for their latest single The Bell to coincide with their upcoming Irish tour. The Bell was filmed in the Donegal recording studio where their latest album '{Awayland}'was created. The video is a mix of live performance and animation; however, the live performance aspect of the video is the most interesting portion, as it allows us to see inside the inner sanctum of this highly creative band. The Villagers tour commences on March 14th in Galway taking in Limerick, Belfast, Killarney and Cork before concluding with two sold out nights at Dublin's Olympia Theatre.

Video: Le Galaxie - The Nightcrawler

Le Galaxie return with The Nightcrawler (feat. Laura Smyth) the latest single to be taken from their 'Fade 2 Forever EP.' The track proved a hit with festival goers last summer and has since become one of the bands most popular tracks to date. The video mirrors Le Galaxie's fans reaction to their stage show; with dancers bathing in, and creating swathes of neon light -through the darkness- in time to the music.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Video: Croupier - The Crooper

Croupier have released a video for their latest single and live favourite The Crooper, which sees the band enjoying a trip to the funfair by the seaside. Croupier are an incredible live band creating a post-punk disco melee of carefully converging sounds sieved through the anger, love, hate, pain and regret-stained vocals of Ireland's most unique frontman Oisin Murphy-Hall.

Live: Enemies - Irish Tour Dates Feb 2013

Arguably Ireland's finest instrumental band Enemies have announced a nationwide tour starting in Whelan's on Feb 23rd followed by Cork, Galway and Belfast. With support from the fabulous Croupier on all dates.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club - Next Year

Two Door Cinema return with the latest single from their sophomore album 'Beacon'. The video for Next Year was filmed at their recent gig in Dublin's O2. If you look real hard you might even see yourself in there somewhere.

Video: Little Green Cars - Harper Lee

Little Green Cars are striking while the iron is hot, following a whirlwind festival season and the success of single The John Wayne last year. Harper Lee is taken from the 'Harper Lee EP' which bridges the gap beautifully until the release of the bands debut album 'Absolute Zero' later this year.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Video: Lie Ins - We Were Born Into Corduroy

Popical Island beat-folksters Lie Ins have released a video for We Were Born Into Corduroy ahead of the release of their debut album 'Death To Lie Ins' which can be downloaded for free Here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remix: Nanu Nanu - Pocket Of Gold

Alien -pop duo Nanu Nanu have released some remixes of their single Pocket Of Gold via soundcloud
You can also download the original version for free

Monday, January 28, 2013

Video: Eric McGrath - Always The Same

When we first came across Eric McGrath's 'My Demo' several years ago we thought it showed a lot of potential. McGrath's acoustic crooner-jazz has come along way since then and his potential is finally being realised on tracks such as his latest single Always The Same.


Video: Riot Tapes - The Key

Indie popsters Riot Tapes return with new single The Key. it's radio friendly from the first beat to the last and you can expect to hear it on national radio in the near future as a result.

Video: Nanu Nanu - Pocket Of Gold

Nanu Nanu's latest single Pocket Of Gold is a delightful slice of dark electro pop reminiscent of 'Ultra' era Depeche Mode. A simple yet riveting bassline propels the track as Sc- Fi strains and swirling drums create an alien disco soundscape. However, it's Laura Sheeran's vocal that really sets this track alight. The video is suitably trippy and reflects the alien electro pop perfectly.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Video: Solar Taxi - Parcels

Solar Taxi are back with their latest single Parcels which is a blend of soft mournful piano chords and soulful vocals which suddenly morphs into an uptempo funk power ballad. It's an unexpected change but it works well.

Video: Percolator - Album Teaser

Waterford noise merchants Percolator have released a fascinating glimpse into their fortcoming album via an extract from a track called  Sad Alien Thing.. It looks like the log awaited debut album may actually see the light of day in 2013, well lets hope so.

Video: Kodaline - High Hopes

You know your band is on the up when you have Hollywood actors gracing your music videos; but that's just the way it is for Kodaline these days. The Dublin groups latest video High Hopes features legendary Irish actor Liam Cunningham in the leading role. The groups star will rise further still in March when their long awaited debut album ‘In A Perfect World’ is released

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Review: New Order - Lost Sirens

The latest release by seminal indie/dance act New Order is more than likely the last material the band will release with former bassist Peter Hook following an acrimonious split. Hook upset his former New Order / Joy Division alumni by amongst other things performing Joy Division material with his new band The Light, meanwhile New Order hit the road with new bassist Tom Chapman stopping off at the Forbidden Fruit festival in Dublin last summer.

‘Lost Sirens’ songs were originally recorded during prolific writing sessions for 2005’s ‘Waiting For The Siren’s Call.’ At the time the band intended to add several songs to the 8 remaining songs which now appear on ‘Lost Sirens’ and release a quick follow-up album. 8 years of record company wrangling and almost comical inter-band spats later, the quick follow-up is finally released.

 I’ll Stay With You momentarily suggests it’s about to become a Faithless-esque floor-filler before the classic combination of Bernard Sumner’s fragile vocals and angular guitar melodies and Peter Hook’s swaggering high-end bass riffs enter the fray; ironically conjuring a radio friendly tale of never-ending friendship.

Sugarcane has more of an electronic (Sumner/Marr supergroup) feel to it mixing jangly, funk guitar stabs with Key-bass through the verses while a Motown girl group vibe permeates the sugary chorus of “Wake up right now, stop what you’re doing you’ve gotta be true, you know you don’t live forever…” It’s a purposefully saccharine and throwaway piece of fun.

Recoil is a more mature, slow burning piano based offering. Sumner’s vocal fits the jazzy, lounge soundscapes perfectly, but at just over five minutes Recoil almost outstays its welcome. Thankfully Californian Grass raises the pace somewhat “Give me all that I ask, some Californian grass, bring it over to me, I want everything that I see” gushes Sumner through its chorus. It’s by no means a classic New Order track, but it’s the sound of a band thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Like opening track I’ll Stay With You, Hellbent displays contemporary influences from the period of recording; In this case there’s an obvious nod to The Dandy Warhols and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) who collaborated with New Order around this time, throughout the verses. Hellbent juxtaposes fluttery electro with squealing guitar licks; it’s not a wholly successful experiment, but once again New Order produce a decent chorus to tie the track together. Indeed, almost every song on ‘Lost Sirens’ has a vocal hook, most bands would be envious of. It seems incredible that some of this material was overlooked for the initial album release

I’ve Got A Feeling screams radio friendly unit shifter, thanks to its big melodic sing-along chorus, while Shake It Up complete with Austin Powers segue, was built for an indie-disco dance floor. It’s a pity that New Order couldn’t stick to their plan, as the creative juices were clearly flowing in the right direction in 2005, but the idiocy of ego scuppered them just as they were getting back into their stride.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Video: Liza Flume - What We Called Love

What We Called Love is the first track to be taken from Liza Flume's debut EP 'Full Steam Ahead.' It's a beautifully sombre, yet uplifting, post break-up tail of hope, regret and anger.

Video: Low Profile - Perfect Portrait

Perfect Portrait is the first single to be taken from Dublin outfit Low Profile's debut album ''Similar, But So Different.'' The band mix rap with melodic radio friendly acoustic pop. Lyrically Perfect Portrait charts the struggles of a young girl neglected by her drugged up parents. It's a sad reflection on modern Ireland, but thankfully Low Profile aren't afraid to tackle challenging issues and it's refreshing to hear an anti drug stance without a hint of dogooderness.

Video: Windings - Something Outnumbered

Something Outnumbered is the latest single to be taken from Windings' album 'I Am Not The Crow' which was one of the finest Irish albums of 2012. Something Outnumbered echoes early Doves in places as its sweet mid tempo melody washes over you.

Review: Le Galaxie - The Workman's Club

2012 was a bumper year for Le Galaxie with the release of the critically and commercially successful  ‘Fade 2 Forever EP’ and a string of festival appearances; each seemingly bigger and more outrageous than the last, Forbidden Fruit being especially memorable for the introduction of the Dead Presidents facemasks for the first time.

Le Galaxie’s popularity has grown so much in the last twelve months that they sold out The Workman’s Club; not once, but twice, a phenomenal achievement for an Irish band. Their two-day mini residency dubbed Workmania saw them up their game once again.

Last Day of 1984 warmed up the crowd with an emphatic performance of songs from their début album ‘Wake Up The Waves.’ The bands sprawling electro sound features high energy radio friendly tracks such as single Rivers Edge, brooding Eno-esque instrumentals and blissed out indie-comedowns. Last Days Of 1984 have a secret weapon in their quest for electro perfection, a Ukulele; which, when combined with Afro Beat drums creates an infectious electro Graceland vibe. With new material in the pipeline expect big things from Last Days Of 1984 in 2013.

The room went dark and a hail of glow-sticks rained down on the crowd as Le Galaxie took to the stage in front of a capacity crowd of festive revellers. Heat City instantly set the tone for the high octane performance that was to follow. The energy on stage was mimicked, if not surpassed by the crowd who danced and cheered relentlessly; the sight of a cowbell drawing the kind of reception normally reserved for superstars.

Le Galaxie have honed their live performance into a breath-taking spectacle with frontman Michael leading the charge, while the band deliver a carefully crafted mix of live instruments v’s synth trickery. We Bleed The Blood Of Androids is an early highlight thanks to its seemingly endless crescendo of guitar and drums.  Breakthrough single Midnight Midnight’s gritty synths and “Woo” chorus  makes for a perfect slice of electro pop. Orion takes it one step further with sleek bass powered verses juxtaposed against a chorus of duelling guitars and synths. Nightcrawler showcases the group’s progression. The sampled vocal allows frontman Michael to perform some of his signature dance moves and engage even more with the crowd.

Just when it seemed the crowd couldn’t get any more responsive Le Galaxie play Love System featuring Elaine Mai. The response is astonishing; and a true moment of unity is experienced throughout the venue. Beyond Transworld closes the show in some style before the band receives a rapturous, hands in the air farewell to the strains of the Jurassic Park theme tune.

Le Galaxie never fails to entrance a crowd with their high energy retro leaning dance music. They are simply one of the finest acts in Ireland today. Unfortunately for us it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on.

Photo: Kieran Frost