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The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live in Paris)
The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars (live at the Nouveau Casino, Paris) Review Snapshot: Two loud doses of U.S. alt-rock, which may be surprising for some fans of 'Hospice'. But at high volume and with lots of reverberating bass, The Antlers reveal even more of the emotions that inspired that fabulous album. Cymbals Eat Guitars, at war with your eardrums, are an uncomplicated pleasure. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: Every band on tour will stop in Paris - but alternative rock and pop have a relatively small audience in the French capital. So tonight two great American bands, Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Antlers, are playing on the same bill in a small venue in the hip Oberkampf district at only 15 euro a ticket. And still the place isn't even two-thirds full. (It was a similar story for another cracking double bill, DM Stith and The Acorn, that we reviewed for you back in May.) Tonight's show is part of the Custom series organised by Fren... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, France
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25
The Beat Poets 'The Making' E.P Cluas Snapshot: They have the earnest heart on sleeve lyrics, big sound and bigger choruses; The Beat Poets are poised to be the finest purveyors of stirring rock in a long time. If it’s your thing, check them out. Cluas Verdict? 7/10 Full Review: The Beat Poets are on the up. Their latest offerings have been picked up by MTV USA and the BBC amongst others. The title track “The Making” is getting a lot of airplay on the radio. Things are going good for the band touted by some to be potentially the biggest band from NI since Snooze (sorry Snow!) Patrol. So what’s the E.P like? Well if a pumping rhythm, honest emotive lyrics and an audible yearning for a big sound is your thing? It’s great actually. If you don’t, it’s awful. It’s that simple. The title track “The Making” has elements of The Verve, U2 amongst others in the sound. It’s perfectly crafted as a popular roc... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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21
La Roux 'La Roux'
A review of La Roux's debut album Review Snapshot: Electro-pop duo La Roux’s debut album is filled with the haunting vocals of Elly Jackson and the synthesized beats of Ben Laingmaid.  Though catchy and quick, the album fails to hold the intensive energy of their singles and becomes disappointingly lacklustre. A record that lacks real staying power over its full length - it slowly begins to wilt from about the half way point The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: When electro-pop band La Roux first appeared on the scene with the single "Quicksand" in December 2008, it seemed to miss its mark entirely.  However, when "In the Kill" blasted over the airwaves, they finally found their audience.   The band's principle interests are drawn from the 80s; bands such as Depeche Mode and Yazoo, while the androgynous appearance of lead singer Elly Jackson emulates that of Annie Lennox or even Ziggy Stardust. They could be lik... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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19
The Flaws
Successful Irish band The Flaws have been in hibernation since their tour for their first album, Achieving Vagueness. This summer, they performed at a number of festivals, and released a single, 'I Don't Wanna Dance'. Now, they're preparing to release their yet-to-be-named second album. Here the ultra-modest Paul Finn, lead singer and guitarist, talks with Cluas. Your first album was very successful - do you find that expectations for this album are high? No, not at all, I don't think that anyone would really care if we ever released an album again! You've been working on your second album - what's it about? We started just writing songs aimlessly, and then we thought it might be more exciting to give the album a theme. The theme started out being based around the phrase 'peace and quiet', and it changed as the songs developed, into something else, which we're keeping under wraps until the album is a go. It's a very strong album ... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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17
Fleetwood Mac (live in Dublin)
Fleetwood Mac (live in the O2, Dublin) Review Snapshot: A band that has been on the go for over 40 years, albeit with changes in personnel along the way. While the band may be deteriorating, the music stands the test of time, even without the absent Christine McVie. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Opening with 'Monday Morning' from the pre-Rumours days, it was 'The Chain' and 'Dreams' that got the O2 Arena in a frenzy from the start. "Dublin, you're beautiful, why don't we get this party started" shouted Nicks, before Buckingham and Nicks took it in turns to sing, giving us 'I Know I'm Not Wrong', 'Gypsy', 'Go Insane' and 'Rhiannon' in the early part of the show. Nicks spoke about forming a band in 1965, "a hard rock San Francisco Band" she proclaimed. "We learnt our trade supporting Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin. We want to put our experience back into a song, b... [Read on]
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16
Frank Turner: Voice of the every-man?
Interview with Frank Turner, formerly of Million Dead Although Frank Turner is a well known singer/song writer in certain circles of music fans, he has in no way been affected by his fame. Leading the way up to his dressing room in The Academy, Dublin City, he made small talk and confessed that he is "a fan of peace and quiet."  Turner kicked off his U.K and Ireland tour in Dublin on October 13th, a tour which consisted of 16 dates. He's has just finished touring with The Offspring in the U.S. promoting his current album Poetry of the Deed and he has a reputation of being dedicated to being on the road. The singer spoke overtly about his gigging, saying he believes it is his duty to perform to the best of his abilities for his loyal fans: "I see myself as being an entertainer, above and beyond anything else, and my job is to get up on stage and make the people, who pay to come to the show, have a really good time." He likes to think of himself as s... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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13
Biffy Clyro 'Only Revolutions'
A review of the album 'Only Revolutions' by Biffy Clyro Review Snapshot: The Ayrshire trio Biffy Clyro return with an album filled with explosive riffs and lyrical genius, featuring Josh Homme and a surprisingly suitable string section. It has all of the incredible hallmarks of a band headed for arenas, but still maintains some of the 'underdog' traits that originally made Biffy Clyro alluring in the first place. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: 'Only Revolutions' is... interesting. The album title was taken from a novel of the same name by Mark Danielewski, which requires you to flip the book upside down frequently to read two different narratives usually on the same page. Just from this detail it's easy to see why 'Only Revolutions' is a suitable title for Biffy Clyro's latest release, at times it feels as though you're cascading through a variety of unrelated songs which somehow have a consistency.     ... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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Cluas Snapshot: The Antlers’ second album is different. It’s a concept. The theme is tragic and complicated. It’s also phenomenally engaging musically and while one of the most difficult it’s also one of the interesting albums you’re likely to hear this year. The Cluas Verdict? 8/10 Full Review: Hospice tells the story from Prologue to Epilogue of a couple’s journey through terminal illness, struggle, regret and grief amongst other things. It’s heavy. It’s very heavy in fact. The record opens with the grey overtone “Prologue” and even from this early stage, it’s clear the album could serve as a soundtrack for a movie. In fact a movie could be written using the story of the album. It slides gently into “Kettering”. The song describes one partner finding the other filled with tubes in a cancer ward. The “morphine alarms” sing and keep her sleeping. It narrates the anger felt by the patient t... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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26
Yes Cadets
I recently caught up with up and coming Belfast electro pop foursome Yes Cadets prior to their performance at the HWCH festival in Dublin. Yes Cadets were only formed last summer but in a short space of time have been causing quite a stir. A single, EP and an Oxygen performance later as well as wide spread airplay sees their star in the ascendance. Here is what they had to say.   You guys formed over last year, were you friends before? How did you come up with the concept of the band? We’ve all known each other for a good while, meeting initially a couple of years ago in the murky underbelly of the Belfast music scene. It was only last year that we decided to form the band that we always wanted to be in and to play the music we always wanted to play.    Why the obsession with Canada?     Well, it’s only really an obsession when it comes to Canadian rock music. Bands like Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire and Tokyo Police... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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21
A review of the album 'Post Electric Blues' by Idlewild Review Snapshot: One could be forgiven for thinking that this latest offering portrays Idlewild growing old gracefully, but realistically this is the sound of a band who are trying to reinvent themselves. It doesn’t come close to the indie rock genius of the “The Remote Part” and the happy-go-lucky “Make Another World”, or the intrigue of the confused “Warnings/Promises”, but rather depends on several different influences to produce a fresh sound. Does it work? Yes, but only just.  The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: As the album opens with “Younger Than America”, you instantly notice this is truly & recognisably Idlewild, a vicariously riffed tune, and one that will once again accuse them of being, albeit in a good way, influenced by REM circa the Document era. Add to that, an effective backing vocal by our own Heidi Talbot (who aided and abetted Roddy Woomble’s 2006 solo country-ish effort “Secret Of My Silence” to ma... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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