The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A review of the album We Love You Dark Matter by Dark Room Notes

Review Snapshot: An album that proves there's more to electro-indie than silly stage antics and dodgy dress sense, We Love You Dark Matter, is one of the great debut albums.  Expect to see Dark Room Notes feature highly in many end of year polls.

The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10

Full Review:Dark Room Notes
It's generally agreed, by cartoons at least, that postmen are most afraid of dogs.  Over the past few weeks, however, my postman has gone to great lengths to try and avoid me.  The reason?  Well, I knew that I had been sent a copy of We Love You Dark Matter to review and there was no sign of it.  Thankfully, my regular postman went on holiday last week and, after not getting any post for nearly a week, the replacement happened to have 13 pieces of mail for me, one of which was We Love You Dark Matter.

Normally the trouble with wanting to hear an album so much is that you end up being disappointed.  Thankfully, Dark Room Notes have crafted an album that is so close to perfection that I haven't been able to listen to another record for the last week.  Recorded over a two week period in London in July 2008, We Love You Dark Matter, places Dark Room Notes firmly in the running for many end of year awards.  I know it's only April, but it's that good.

To the uninitiated, Dark Room Notes are Ronan Gaughan, Rurai Ferrie, Darragh Shanahan and Arran Murphy and have, thanks to electric live performances, built a name for themselves as one of Ireland's most exciting electro-rock outfits.  Some of you wil, no doubt, be familier with Love Like Nicotine, the bands debut single.  Those of you that are will be pleased to hear that the band have retained the services of Ciaran Bradshaw (Evil HarrisonsThe Chapters)  who produced both that single and the bands Dead Start Program EP.

Bradshaw's influence is most evident on tracks like The Same City Awaits Me and This Hot Heat where he somehow manages to keep the band's obvious influences in check enough to stop the songs verging into homage territory.  However, Bradshaw seems to know when to step back and let the bands talent for mixing intelligent electro-rock rhythms with clever word play take over, especially on tracks like Broken Nail and ELM.

By condensing all their energy and enthusiasm into just 10 songs, Dark Room Notes have ensured that they have created an album will little or no filler.  Indeed, such is the quality of We Love You Dark Matter it is difficult to pick a stand-out track.  However, if I was to choose one track to sell Irish indie music to the world it would be Shake, Shake My Ceiling a song so catchy that it should be issued with a health warning 'Danger: Will 'cause spontaneous bouts of dancing.'

It's very difficult to find fault with an album as good as We Love You Dark Matter.  It is as good a debut album as I've heard from an Irish band.  At a time when music is so plentiful and money is not it can be difficult to know what albums to buy and what to leave behind in the record store.  This is one album that you have to add to your collection.  You heard it here first, Dark Room Notes are your new favourite band.

Steven O'Rourke

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2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.