Eammon Doran's, Dublin, 10th December 2004
Within the shadowy confines of Doran's, four fresh-sounding garage acts struck with unorthodoxy and definitive jolt on a bitterly cold Friday night.
The CLUAS Verdict?
8.5 out of 10
The Noise Party in TBMC, Ruby Sessions in Doyle's and the Radiator Gigs in Doran's are all events that provide a platform for unsigned acts to unmask their musical talents. The latter of these has combated mainstream gigs in other Dublin venues almost every Friday night for the past few months. Besides friends of the bands performing, the audience that usually flocks to these gatherings consists of Doran's regulars, some tourists and a proportion of Irish people who believe in supporting lesser-known acts. On some of these Fridays, the one's who pay their - 8 in witness a repertoire of biting vehemence.
With clusters of spiralling guitars, thunderous crashes of the drums and solemn licks of the bass, Butterfly Explosion introduced themselves. Each song was conducted with a maturity that presented itself in the form of a very solid sound. While the instrumental tracks were performed with an acute excellence, the vocals on some of the other tracks just didn't suit the tone of the music. An injection of enthusiasm would be a welcome feat, even if it only gives a downbeat song a little bolt of zest. Butterfly Explosion has a bit of tweaking to do but shouldn't abandon some cracking songs that they have.
Ethos quickly got into a groove of tenacious vigour. The frontman moved, hunched and sang like a strange brew of Mick Pyro/Liam Gallagher/Caleb Followill while the guitarists surrounding him posed with a swagger of rebelliousness. The sounds that they unleashed were of hard-hitting indie rock, not too dissimilar from that of The Who but stamped with originality every time. With good lyrics, excellent singing and enjoyable garage rock played energetically, Ethos have everything one could ask for from a band. It is only a matter of time before their hammering chord structures, wild riffs and chaotic drumming entertain many from a larger platform.
The Jones are easy to describe as they are what you would get if you fused the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays together. The lead singer even moves like Shaun Ryder. They bring echoing rhythms, hypnotic beats and pulsating crashes to their fluent set. 'Lonely Souls' stands out as one of their better songs due to the keyboard dimming down and the lead singer revelling in the spotlight. Although their set was cut short, The Jones treated the now eager crowd to some soporific rock with an overspill of Happy Mondays.
After arriving on stage at 11:15, Substance didn't have a lot of time to conquer. A topless drummer sporting a Santa hat interrupted the crowd's chattering with a large dosage of volcanic drumming. Then Ian Brown appeared; well a mixture of Ian Brown and Tim Burgess. The frontman slouched in the shadows while snaking electronica murmurs crept from the keyboard to his far left. Just as the lead singer made his way to his mic stand, the guitars on either side of him wailed in gritty tones. Substance had taken to the stage and everyone paid attention. As the smoke rose, so did the tempo but only to a medium where the audience registered the band's dazed energy. Their sound is stuck in the limbo of moody and explosive rock, borrowing from the two throughout. The Complete Stone Roses would love to have a band like Substance support them. Everything is slick and sour tasting and executed to the precise volume that makes the listener make bit more intrigued.
All in all, it was a really good night from four really good bands.
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