The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Our regular readers will be familiar with Underground Railroad (below right), the London-based Paris trio whose fine US-style alt-rock earned them a place in our Best French Music of 2008 list. (Fight Like Apes fans may also have heard of them, the Irish band having toured the UK with them earlier this year.)

Underground RailroadWell, Underground Railroad have just released a new E.P., 'Pick The Ghost', to follow up on the favourable reaction to last year's 'Sticks And Stones' album. It continues the good work of their previous record and is well worth a listen. That is, once you get past the slightly irritating but mercifully brief opener, 'Breakfast' and onto the four other tracks of top-quality Sonic Youth/JMC-esque indieness.

Those four songs ('Homeless Town', 'Lots Of Cars', 'Monday Morning' and the title track) confirm a theory we have about this band: they're much better when resident blokes Raphael Mura and J.B. Ganivet leave the singing to guitarist Marion Andrau. At the risk of generalisation, female singers tend to use their vocal range more than males, who are often more conservative in their singing. Like on their smashing 2008 single '25', Marion's warm, melodic voice plays off the dark sonic squall behind her, to great effect.

In New York during April 2009, Underground Railroad will be playing with Cold War Kids in the U.K., Netherlands and France in May. No news of any Irish dates for the moment.

You can listen to tracks old and new on Underground Railroad's MySpace page. For want of a new video from them, here's last year's '25' - great song, terrible video:

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Nuggets from our archive

2002 - Interview with Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Cormac Looney. As with Damien Rice's profile, this interview was published before Rodrigo y Gabriela's career took off overseas. It too continues to attract considerable visits every month to the article from Wikipedia.