The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A review of the compilation album 'Dublin's unsigned: the best of'

Dublin unsigned best ofReview Snapshot: "Dublin's unsigned: Best of" showcases the raw talent of Dublin music's underbelly with a selection of hard working bands. Shining a light on parts of the Irish music scene that are too often overlooked. A good reminder, for those that need one, that there is more to Irish music than U2, and soppy boybands.

The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review:
For many outside of Ireland Dublin remains associated with one band, U2, despite having spawned other great bands like Thin Lizzy and er… The Boomtown Rats. What many don't realise is that there are many fabulous bands lurking in the shadows, working away, all baying for even a fraction of U2's success. To showcase some of these bands' talents, Fatfux records, with the support of the Arnotts project, Phantom FM and IMRO, have put together a compilation of Dublin's best unsigned acts. 

With 14 tracks, the album is a fair representation, despite a few notable absentees, of unsigned acts in Dublin (there is always volume two for those who didn't make the cut).

The second track is undoubtedly one of the strongest on the entire album: The Spikes' "Painted on Gold". A catchy number, it lifts the tone of the compilation after opening track "Coin Box" by Killer Chloe, which is a good song, but falls more under the bracket of "average".

There are very few weak songs on the album, and a handful which are set apart from the rest, they having a more individual sound. More Tiny Giants are one of these unique bands. With their song "Hocus Pocus" they sound like the love child of The Coral and The White Stripes. The most outstanding band on the album is Noise Control, an intriguing electro outfit emerging from  the woodwork. They secured a supporting role for The Prodigy when they played in Dublin during December, and when you listen to the track featured on this album, you will see why the pioneers of hardcore rave gave them the chance. "Steel" is already a popular song, by underground status, and is often played at Dublin's favourite indie night "No Disco" in the Academy 2.  

Many of the bands that have come to the foreground in Ireland in the last few years seem to be clones of one another, Delorentos and Director spring to mind, so it is satisfying to learn from "Dublin's unsigned" that there are different breeds lurking in the underground. 

Overall the compilation is somewhat of an eye opener. Anyone involved or interested in Dublin music will know that it is grossly overlooked. Maybe this album can lay down a marker for an overdue surge of wider interest in Dublin's healthy music scene.

Claire Kane

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