Entries for May 2011

Articles

31
Milk Maid 'Yucca'
Review Snapshot: An uninspiring new project from Nine Black Alps' former bass player Martin Cohen, Yucca's fuzz-pop is tedious and unengaging. The Cluas Verdict? 4 out of 10 Full Review: At a time when British rock music was feeling pretty good about itself as a slew of post-Libertine style bands dropped records of varying quality to the enthusiastic music press, Nine Black Alps were something of an anomaly. Most apparent was that, unlike most of his contemporaries, singer Sam Forrest didn’t perform in a heavily-accented style. Instead he drained any evidence of their Mancunian roots from his voice as the band looked to early-nineties grunge music for inspiration. Their output was sometimes absorbing, but these footpath-crumbling rock anthems didn’t sit well next to Franz Ferdinand’s disco stomps or Maximo Park’s choppy pop that were fashionable at the time. Despite some initial positive write-ups for their first album Everything Is, Nine Black ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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26
Chain And The Gang 'Music's Not For Everyone'
A review of the album 'Music's Not For Everyone' by Chain and the Gang Review Snapshot:  The follow-up to 2009’s 'Down With Liberty... Up With Chains!', and Chain And The Gang’s shtick has worn thin. The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10 Full Review:  Ian Svenonius, a cult songwriter/front-man and creative multi-tasker, returns in his Chain And The Gang guise to continue pedalling his theatrical punk manifesto. This, as on their debut offering, is borne-out in the band’s ironic anti-freedom sentiments and fatalistic lyrics. As on Chain and the Gang's first album, Svenonius uses musical genres previously seen as socially conscious or rebellious (for example seventies funk on 'Livin’ Rough' and '(I’ve Got) Privilege') and distorts them with his defeatist stance.  This is problematic on various counts.  Firstly, the mixture of genres has a jarring effect on... [Read on]
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26
Review Snapshot: The legendary 1979 album performed in its entirety, coupled with a visual display to rival anything seen in a science fiction movie. This is as good as it gets. The Cluas Verdict? 10 out of 10 Full Review: Roger Waters show at the O2 in Dublin was a visual spectacle from the opening. The half constructed wall, with so many fantastic images projected onto it, dominated from the start of ‘In The Flesh’ and ‘The Thin Ice’. The sound for ‘Another Brick In The Wall (parts 1-3)' was crystal clear, during which the group of young school kids singing the chorus had hair standing on the back on my neck, while the huge Gerald Scarfe school teacher puppet with the large cane in his hand, moved eerily above the children as they sang “Hey Teacher, leave those kids alone”. The tracks were performed in the order they appeared on the album, as the bricks continued to be put in place during ‘Mother&rsquo... [Read on]
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25
Wild Palms 'Until Spring'
Review Snapshot:  Despite occasional glimpses of promise, the debut album from British band Wild Palms loses its way somewhere between ambition and execution. The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review: There is a lot to like about Wild Palms brand of music. Whilst drawing on an array of influences and blending genres as traditionally opposed as pop rock and shoe gaze, the group still manage to arrive at their own unique sound, a characteristic sorely lacking in many of their contemporaries. As well as having an imitable voice in lead singer Lou Hill, the album is also littered with catchy hooks and clever musical experimentation. So why then, having given the record fair chance, did I find myself so unmoved by the experience and even a little frustrated? Well for one thing the group don’t appear to have settled on a direction. There is an imbalance between simple, radio-friendly pop tunes and long, drawn out tracks that fluctuate in intensity onl... [Read on]
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25
Roger Waters (live in Dublin)
Roger Waters, The Wall (live in the O2, Dublin, 23 May 2011) Review snapshot: Waters is currently touring with ‘The Wall Live 2011’, an ambitious and spellbinding performance of the 1979 Pink Floyd epic double-album and film, on a massive visual scale. Flawless sound, a light show that would make the most seasoned stoner wet themselves, and a multimedia extravaganza charged with biting social commentary. If rock is your bag, then this is one show you do not want to miss.   The CLUAS Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full review: On Monday night Dublin’s O2 Arena played host to one of England’s finest, Roger Waters, ex-bass player / lead singer of rock gods Pink Floyd. Waters is currently touring with ‘The Wall Live 2011’,an ambitious and spellbinding performance of the 1979 Pink Floyd epic double-album and film, on a massive visual scale. The success lies in the mix of flawless sound, a light show that would make the mo... [Read on]
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23
Dan Sartain 'Legacy of Hospitality'
A Review of the album 'Legacy of Hospitality' by Dan Sartain Review Snapshot: The perfect starter kit for Sartain virgins, this long album may be a lot to digest but it is the perfect showcase for the singer/songwriter's diversity. The Cluas Verdict? 7/10 Full Review: Dan Sartain is anAmerican rock singer/songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama and while he has not achieved the heights of fame that he may have been originally been aiming for, he has proven to be a talented and lucky man in the music world. Since 2001 he has released six studio albums, the most recent being Legacy of Hospitality.   The album is being presented by camp Sartain as a companion to previous album Dan Sartain Lives and even something of a document of the musician’s career: it containing tracks that succeed even his early self-produced titles as well as alternative versions of songs from his previous offerings.  On listening to the current LP... [Read on]
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19
Foo Fighters 'Wasting Light'
A review of the album 'Wasting Light' by Foo Fighters Review Snapshot: Let me start with something that may be controversial for many  fans of the Foo Fighters: this might just be their best album since 'The Colour and The Shape'. I’m just saying.    The Cluas Verdict: 9 out of /10   Full Review: What you see is what you get with the Foo Fighters, one of America's last standing (real) rock bands that haven’t changed their form since Dave Grohl kicked off with his post-Nirvana days with the Foo's debut.   This, their seventh album, drops twenty years after Grohl worked on ‘Nevermind’ with Kurt Cobain, but this is only noteworthy because Grohl has recruited both Butch Vig and Krist Novoselic to play a part in the album's production. Pat Smear, who hasn’t stepped in on a Foo’s album since 1997’s 'The Colour and The Shape', has also been re-... [Read on]
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09
Duke Special (live in Portlaoise)
A review of Duke Special (live in Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise) Review Snapshot: While there’s no room in tonight's small venue for his piano, Duke Special still  managed to put all his energy, enjoyment, and drama into a gig which enthralled us for over two hours. The Duke managed to silence us with his fascinating stories and history lessons, bringing a different perspective to what can be achieved when you mix music and art. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10   Full review: Having witnessed a few Duke Special gigs over the years, I thought I’d seen all this man has to offer, but I have to admit his May Day Bank Holiday performance in Portlaoise recently was the best I’ve seen him deliver. There’s standing room only as the venue cramped with 100 lucky people has an intimate feel to it, like he’s performing in your sitting room.  With at least six studio albums to his credit now, there’s no... [Read on]
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