Not much preamble this month, except to say that this month highlights once again the breadth and depth of talent in Northern Ireland, with a decent spread in the age of the acts as well. It’s as it should be. Ok. Let’s crack on.
►Rōe – ‘Closer To You’
I love it when people listen to ‘Uncle’ Al and put right what they did wrong previously when submitting music to me. A case in point is Rōe (Roisin Donald), whose debut single ‘Ghost’ was submitted for review a few months back, but came with no further info. A gentle chiding ensued from yours truly, and there was no repeat of that mistake with her second submission, ‘Closer To You’. A 17 year old music student from Derry, Rōe has yet to play outside the Maiden City, but has already supported the wondrous Ports on their album launch and an appearance at Stendhal Festival has been secured. I like the more expanded sound on ‘Closer to You’; it has more of a full band feel to it – courtesy of producer, Liam Craig. There’s no doubt, the more instruments you have to work with, the bigger the canvas a writer has to paint their pictures on. Promising stuff.
►In An Instant – ‘Where The Demons and the Devil Speak’
I was there when In An Instant won our Kickstart competition a couple of years back. The were worthy winners on the night, even if they weren’t really my thing (I wasn’t a judge). I have to say that since then, In An Instant certainly have fulfilled the promise we saw in them that night. Yes, the similarity to Snow Patrol is inescapable, which may have some running to the hills – but for others like myself, it is not an instant (geddit?) black mark. In fact, In An Instant echo the best of Snow Patrol – catchy indie pop/rock. And it’s nice to hear a song like that without all Lightbody’s ‘I messed up a relationship cos I took drugs’ refrain. I hope that In An Instant can keep this vibe they have and don’t go ‘too dancy’ as Snow Patrol and Coldplay have done, and lose that indie edge that made us like them in the first place.
►Lady J – ‘The Creeper’
I made no secret that I loved Derry’s Lady J in my review of their album and ‘The Creeper’ was the opening song and pretty much says all you need to know about the band. Crunching guitars, pounding rhythms and then, the one-and-only Lady J (Jeanette Hutton) herself caterwauling over the music. She has a very unique voice, as I said at the time, the type of voice that, sadly, we are hearing less and less of in mainstream music as producers and A&R men feed us a constant stream of saccharine sweet (very auto-tuned) female singers. Give me Jeanette’s passionate, earthy, visceral vocals over these modern divas any day of the week.
►Dahlia – ‘Tyrer Street’
Belfast’s Dahlia were formed by two brothers, Gareth & David Douglas and the music they have composed reminds me very much of two other bands that were formed by brothers – Oasis and The Kinks. There’s no getting away from the vibe of 1996, the echo of the Gallagher brothers resounds from Dahlia’s Douglas brothers. The song starts a little bit like ‘Janet n John learn guitar’ or put another way, a simple stolen-from-the-Kinks guitar pattern that Oasis made a fortune copying 20 years ago. There is also much in the lyrics that echoes Ray Davies’ observational style of lyric writing. It’s no bad thing. I’d rather they took their inspiration from a real band than some plonker with a laptop and decks. I think though that they just need to advance a little from where they are at to really make people take notice and not write them off as out-of-date, Brit-pop wannabes. But ‘Tyrer Street’ does step up a gear after that very basic start, and that bodes well for future progress.
►Sinocence – ‘Ascension Code’
The Sinocence lads have been around so long (entering their 16th year) and have such a strong back catalogue, not least with their most recent releases – the E.P.s ‘No Gods No Masters’ Volumes 1 & 2 (Volume 3 is on its way), that you can fall into the trap of taking them for granted; taking for granted they will always be here, releasing quality ‘thinking man’s Thrash Metal’. But we shouldn’t take them for granted. We should treasure them along with our other top acts across the different genres. More knowledgeable CB contributors than I regarding the heavier end of the Metal scene here in NI (Ms Brehaut and Mr McBride) would be able to give you chapter and verse about why Sinocence are so good – all I know is that I am not a huge Thrash Metal fan – but I love Sinocence. Maybe it is, as it tends to be for me, a vocals thing. Moro’s vocals are not harsh, atonal or gutteral like so many vocalists of that genre – they are perfect for the sound and to deliver his own thought-provoking lyrics. With the 3rd volume of their E.P. due soon, releasing a video for ‘Ascension Code’ seems the perfect adieu to Volume 2. Don’t take Sinocence for granted. One day they won’t be here and we’ll realise what we had.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.