Entries for 'John Ryan'

Articles

27
Mister Heavenly 'Out of Love'
Mister Heavenly 'Out of Love' The CLUAS verdict: 8 out of 10 Full Review: Artists tread a fine line when they dabble with the idea of a super group. The end product will invariably be judged by their former glories and, in many cases, will not survive such a comparison. Thankfully, Nick Thorburn (The Islands), Ryan Kattner (Man Man) & Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse) surpass expectations with their incendiary incarnation Mister Heavenly. Inspired by their shared love of doo wop and avant garde indie, Mister Heavenly exist within a genre of their own creation: doom-wop. Their debut release Out of Love is a modern revision of the 50s pop era, full of macabre tales of heartache and disaffection. Their playfully ironic love songs are written for a generation more accustomed to text message breakups than Dear John letters.  The two-stepping “Charlyne” is a satire of the sweetheart ballad with a surf rock vibe in the style of The Beach Boys. A ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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27
Easy Star All Stars
When Easy Star records set out to release a reggae adaptation of Dark side of the moon in 2003, they were faced with the perilous task of staying true to the original while taking the music in a whole new direction. With musical director Michael Goldwasser at the helm, the label went in search of a supporting cast strong enough to undertake such an ambitious project. Drafting some of the finest musicians the New York scene had to offer, they created a dream team of modern reggae; the Easy Star All Stars. The album has remained on the Billboard reggae charts ever since. In the eight years that followed, the band have released seminal versions of Radiohead’s Ok Computer and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; garnering praise from fans and critics alike. And now with the release of First Light, their first full-length original album, the band are ready to show the world that there’s more to the Easy Star All Stars than trips down n... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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16
Hipster Youth 'Teenage Elders'
A review of the album 'Teenage Elders' by Hipster Youth Review Snapshot: Teenage Elders captures the chaos of a Castlevania soundtrack without ever considering the likely effect upon its audience. A bad Nintendo acid trip of an album, lost in the one-dimensional platforms that inspired its inception. The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10 Full Review: In a business overrun with insipid intertextual references, artists should really exercise caution when they wander into the realms of retro. The advent of postmodernism opened up the floodgates of creative recycling, with the old and the new intermingling in an array of previously inconceivable combinations. At best, the trend presented the possibility of redefining the cultural relics of the past through novel hybrid forms. At worst, the market merely capitalised on the success of a few innovators, producing a litany of carbon copies in their wake.  Dublin-based artist Hipster Youth unfortun... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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07
Ayoe Angelica 'Dandelion'
A review of the album 'Dandelion' by Ayoe Angelica  Review Snapshot:  A wise academic once professed that true art should be recognised for its aesthetic value rather than any contrite notion of commercial viability. Ayoe Angelica personifies this perspective, producing an enchanting collection of songs that captures the spontaneity and experimental side of the artistic process. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: In a consumer-driven industry, the artistic quest for originality seems to have taken a backseat to the marketable value of music. Many virtuous acts venture into the depths of big business determined to preserve their integrity only to bow to the burden of systematic sales targets and creative constraints. Our hopes lie with the treasured few who flee from the arid mainstream in favour of the road less travelled. Genre-defying Danish singer Ayoe Angelica is one such individual.  Joining forces with multi-inst... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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22
Illness 'For All you ABC-1s Out There'
A review of the album 'For All you ABC-1’s Out There' by Illness Review Snapshot: 'For All You ABC-1’s Out There' captures the chaotic chemistry of two talented musicians searching for their musical path. Admittedly, the mediocre quality of the recording limits the band’s potential to make an impact in the commercial market at this moment in time. As an indication of things to come, there is certainly enough here to suggest that Illness are on their way towards future success.  The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: History has shown us that culture is self-referential and reactionary, with new trends developing in response to the dominant art forms of the present day. The sentimentality of Romanticism produced a suitable counterpoint in the Realist movement, while the excessive theatrics of Hair Metal begat the shoegazing philosophy of Grunge. Now in this post-digital age, bands are beginnings to revert to the... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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22
School Tour 'Yes Way' (EP)
A review of the EP 'Yes Way' by School Tour Review Snapshot: One artist’s ethereal exploration of electronic art and its borderless landscape. And while some may dismiss it as self-indulgent, the asking price (free) makes it recommended listening for any open-minded music fan.  The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: In the past, an artist would commence his creative journey by relocating to a distant rural landscape, disconnected from the distractions of the modern day. In severing his ties with society, he opened the possibility of an unimpeded exploration of the self, re-emerging finally with a product as yet unrealised by the outside world. Yeats’ finest work arose in Inishfree; Led Zepelin’s III found its feet in a remote Welsh cottage and now Donegal becomes the birthplace of a new breed of Irish Electronica from instrumentalist School Tour.  School Tour - real name Gerald Duffy - is fast becoming a leadi... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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