This Galway band has been on the lips of everyone that matters this year. From seeing them tonight it is easy to see why. They are something the Irish music scene has been overdue for some time. We stand by that statement because they have a lot to say when they let their music do the talking. It was our first time seeing them live tonight but they have been on the U&I radar throughout 2017 and we walked away wanting more.
From the very second the first chord was struck on ‘New Song’ we sensed the robust sound they have cornered was going to lead to a memorable gig for all the right reasons and they didn’t disappoint. There is a harshness to the riff and it meets the muscle of the drums to hook you from the off. You sensed the intent. Not only was it slick but the vocals pumped through carried the definition of the passive demeanour in a way that was sharply felt. The catchy side also managed to do the important thing – match the style with substance. ‘You’re The Problem’ has an English feel to it, but it also powers something anthemic into the process that rides in high. The animated kitsch factor deliberately gives them stage presence but the lyrics capture a raw consequence that you don’t see too often. The cloth this song is cut from screams of accomplishment for how real it comes across.
‘Those Drunken Nights With Pointless Fights’ is another volatile number given a shot in the arm from how all band members pull their weight. It shows in the execution. They guide these features and this exuberance draws a comparison with the freshness of Franz Ferdinand calling the shots on their debut album. This refined indie feel given off becomes a touch that stands out from the crowd off the back of this. Drawing on the subject of pregnancy fear s gives ‘We’ve Been Here Before’ substance. The band shows hunger. The edgy feel harbours something feral that pushes through and the lyrics are on the money. All of the consistency charges through with the chorus and continues on all the way with the bridge. What more can you ask for?
Another track that captures poetry in the observations is ‘Girls Like You’. This is collected in a somewhat intelligent way that connects as it all takes flight. It is characteristically intrinsic in terms of how it is all felt out, and it rattles off a highly apparent Arctic Monkeys influence. The zip in the sound continues with the pacier ‘What He Wants To Hear’. They rip into this and capitalise on the zip to create a tune that is highly hip and inviting on every turn. Committing to something more passive on ‘Catalogue’ shows their integrity. You recognise the potential here if you hadn’t before. A statement is made, but the nouveau chic in the rhythm is gloriously kneaded across. This retro modernity provides the sound with an attractive touch that fares well as it weighs in to lock down the groovier elements.
Another track joining the dots is ‘Mister Tight T-Shirts’. The attentive detail of the lyrics aligns the intelligent and cheeky derivative to give it a deserved joie-de-vivre that remains relative to how it all sounds. It draws your attention to the vocals, but the leftfield styling is akin to what got The Blockheads noticed because it immerses itself in a style that is somewhat signature. As the paunchy nuances on show come to the fore you sense that ‘Mazda’ will be a track with something going for it from the off. And so it proves to be. Not only is it catchy but it possesses a commendable degree of smarts in the lyrics. They harbour something charming and funny in equal measure. This fuels their stage presence as it is all delivered. How they open ‘The World Owes Me A Favour’ draws an Ian Curtis comparison for the quality in the showing of the vocals. Straight away you are drawn in. it is brash but walks with a confident degree of deliberation. As ‘this is not a joke’ bellows out you fittingly acknowledge that this is a band closing things tonight on a serious note.