Entries for May 2010

Articles

27
CODES
With blood pouring from her face, a girl stumbles into the surging crowd at a Christmas light’s fundraiser in a dingy pub in Ireland. Yes, that’s right. A fundraiser for Christmas lights. Surrounded by hundreds in fancy dress, neither the band on stage or the sweaty crowd took a second glance at the screaming girl. But she wasn’t reenacting the final scene from Carrie like the band thought, she had slipped, glassed herself and blended in with the rest of Freddy Krueger’s victims. “Nobody knew if she was for real or fake”, laughs singer Daragh. Fast forward two years, and CODES have graduated from playing to the meager and slightly bloody crowds of the dilapidated pubs of Meath, to the 11,000 strong crowds of The O2 in the capital. The four-piece, who formed in 2007 have had a pretty quick rise in popularity. Within the space of a few months, the indie-electronic group had two singles in The Irish Top 40, played a set at Oxegen and were asked to su... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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27
The Ambience Affair
Give us a bit of background to The Ambience Affair to this point. We met two years ago in a music shop in Dublin. I had been playing solo for about a year previous to that.I felt there was a need for something extra as the songs weren't progressing in a way that I wanted. I invited Marc to one of my solo gigs and we soon decided to form the band. Have there been any particularly memorably highs and lows thus far? High points would probably be some of the gigs we've been lucky to play. Our last EP launch tour was one filled with great moments. I think we've been very fortunate to not have had many lows at all so far. Sure, we've played the odd awful gig or two but in general, I can't think of much that made me question being in the band. Your stripped-down set of live self-sampling and looping have drawn many comparisons to pioneers like Owen Pallet. Do you think you draw a lot of influence from him and similar artists? I think that although ... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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27
We Are Scientists
Keith Murray and Chris Cain of US indie-rockers We Are Scientists often don’t take interviews all that seriously. It may have something to do with their way-out sense of humour (check out their website www.wearescientists.com – it’s insane) or it could simply be a way of entertaining themselves as they respond to questions they have heard countless times before. So it is with some trepidation that I phone Chris (above right), the band’s bassist and prankster-in-chief, at his home in New York for an interview about the new album and their upcoming plans for the year. As it turns out, he is relatively serious for once and is friendly and unfailingly polite throughout as we chat about his band’s excellent, return – to - form new album Barbara, how his ending up in a successful rock band is somewhat accidental and why Cardiff’s nightlife terrifies him…   So, are you happy with the new album Barbara? Does it differ in any way to the... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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12
Villagers 'Becoming A Jackal'
A review of the album Becoming A Jackal by Villagers Review Snapshot: Despite the huge weight of expectation, Conor O'Brien delivers possibly the finest Irish record you'll hear this year in the shape of Becoming A Jackal. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: It's difficult not to feel sorry for Conor O'Brien. Dude's only a slip of a thing and yet he has to deal with me putting the entire weight of my musical expectations for 2010 on his shoulders.  That said, with Becoming A Jackal, O'Brien has set himself apart from the pack. There's a tenderness and a craftsmanship at play here that is as rare as it is beautiful and for that reason alone O'Brien and his Villagers should be considered a national treasure. Opening with 'I Saw the Dead', Villagers set the scene for an album whose veins are coursing with isolation and fear and yet whose mind is set on hope and regeneration.  Such is the epic nature of 'I S... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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12
Craig Walker 'Siamese'
A review of the album 'Siamese' by Craig Walker Review Snapshot: Fifteen years after the demise of his former band - the brilliant Power Of Dreams - frontman Craig Walker returns with his debut solo-album. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Earlier this year, legendary Irish indie-rockers Power Of Dreams reformed for a series of ecstatically-received gigs in the UK and Ireland. It was to celebrate the 20th - anniversary of their magnificent debut album ‘Immigrants, Emigrants and Me’ which still sounds as vibrant and emotionally-engaging now as it did in the early Nineties, testament to the quality of the songs on it (written when the band’s songwriter and frontman Craig Walker was just 17 years-old). The fact that it’s taken almost fifteen years since the band split amicably in 1995 for his solo debut album to appear can’t be blamed on any sort of creative stagnation on his part. Instead of going on the obligatory so... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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10
A review of the album 'High Violet' by The National Review Snapshot: High Violet is the fifth album from the National and the group's most eagerly anticipated record yet. This time around the Brooklyn based band have the added burdens of worldwide exposure and greater critical scrutiny to deal with, though it appears that such pressures have either been openly embraced or actively ignored, such is the confidence with which this record is approached and realised. The result, a poignant exploration of 21st century anxieties, carefully crafted and delivered with an admirable sincerity. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Article: Few bands it seems take the long road to success anymore. What with the information super highway and the like, an outrageous hairstyle, an investment in treadmills, or even a spirited Paul Weller impression (yes, that’s a swipe at The Enemy), might just get you where you want to be. The National however, adopt a more ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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