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The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

'Southern Fried 2' Compilation

'Southern Fried 2': A review of the compilation of Cork bands

Southern Fried 2 - CompilationReview Snapshot:
This thirty-six track double CD showcases the great and the good from the ever changing Cork music scene. Featuring a host of acts either from or based on Leeside, this is an eclectic mix that no serious music fan can ignore. Sponsored by city centre clothing store Prime Time, the collection includes offerings from acts hailing from Poland, Brazil and the Congo as well as the Rebel County.

The CLUAS Verdict? 7 out of 10.

Full review:
As the album opens with the soulful yet haunting acoustic number 'Darkness & Fire' from Michelle Brennan, the listener discovers that this double CD is intended to be a compilation with real depth. Indeed Brennan's blues infused offering is certainly one of the highlights on Southern Fried 2.

Momentum and the sequence of tracks are always important factors when creating compilations if they are to have any longevity with today's record buying public. The fact that this collection of Cork talent is being distributed free does offer music fans from within and outside the Rebel County an opportunity to test the water down on Leeside.

CD 1 is certainly the stronger of this two CD package. Following the opening track, Box Camera's 'Nothing Without You' maintains the high quality with its subtle orchestrations and powerful vocals. Colum Regan's 'Message' delivers a jazzy upbeat gentle groove-laden track that sounds like it would be the perfect come down soundtrack for the late night 'Beat Generation' of 1950s New York.

'Wouldn't Wanna Waste' by Silo suitably moves the tempo towards a more band orientated, electric direction. And Queen Kong delve back to the 1980s synth sound with their song 'Photograph', while Arm The Elderly inject a more aggressive sound with 'Catwalk Revolution' featuring heavy guitar riffs and angry vocals.

However the laid back lounge lizard sound of 'Lies' by Cartoon brings the listener back to earth while boasting warm melodies throughout. This is complemented later by Sumu who inject some raw summertime soul with 'Realise'.

Up and coming Cork band Jezery supply some quirky Cork rock in the form of 'War Dance' that reminds us that this is the city that once gave us the likes of the Nun Attax and Five Go Down To The Sea?

In terms of quality CD 1 goes out on a high note thanks to Cian Walsh's accomplished track 'Hear Me Out'. Here one of the city's most talented guitarists combines subtle yet enchanting lead guitar with well-crafted lyrics to create one of the more memorable songs on this compilations.

The second CD of this collection is a more dance orientated affair. Brian Deady leads the pack with his optimistic soulful hip-hop tune 'Gold Spot'. While renowned Cork D.J. Colm Kenefick follows with an eclectic funky dance friendly number entitled 'Dancin' Skulls'.

Magdalena Lganska's 'Piosenka Trecia' gives this release a real multicultural dimension and helps showcase the melting pot of different sounds and musical traditions that is Cork in the twenty-first century. This is followed by the amusingly named Tantric Dex, who serve up some seriously funky sounds with 'Loco-motive'.

Quirky Leeside hip-hop is the order of the day courtesy of Sounds of the Hotpress and 'It's My Own Fault'. Other highlights on this CD include Ant O'Brien's 'Day of the Donkey', Cork-based Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu with his instrumental track 'Modern World' and To-Ka Tynga's dream-like 'Nayana'. Proceedings are brought to a close on CD 2 with QuestionMarq's offering 'Butterfly'.

Mark McAvoy