Friday 7 June 2013

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-up #16

Here is The Metaphorical Boat's round-up of tunes from Northern Ireland which have caught our attention this month. Tunes come from old friends, reconstituted friends, and a few new friends as well:

Not Squares - Simpler Vibe

"Simpler Vibe" by Not Squares was the first single released by Start Together Singles Club, a new label which releases limited edition tracks on a number of limited edition, novel formats (this song was first released as an egg shaker). After being hidden from the interwebs for the first few months of its release, the song has now been made available for streaming, for the benefit of the those who didn't get their shake on in time. "Simpler Vibe" sees the band move further away from the disco-punk that marked their debut release, with the song being closer to pure dance, and not a million miles away from Hot Chip. Anyone expecting a new "Asylum" will be disappointed, but it's a fantastic song nonetheless.


Go Swim - Halo

A relatively new band (only playing their first gig this week), Belfast 5-piece Go Swim contains members of former local groups Parachutes Over Paris and Nakatomi Towers. Their first release, "Halo", is a jaunty slice of Two Door Cinema Club-esque indie rock.


GRIM - Little Fizz

A bit of an acquired taste, this one. Derry man Laurence McDaid, who records under the name GRIM, mixes lo-fi electronic production with distorted jazz guitar on his most recent single release, "Little Fizz". If you're enjoy some of the less accessible work of Eels, then this might be up your street.


The Hangfires - Your Love

Northern Ireland isn't exactly short of classic rock revivalists at the moment. Million Dollar Reload have been entertaining hundreds of people over the past few years (including supporting The Darkness at the Ulster Hall), Screaming Eagles' debut album has received some positive reviews, whilst The Answer have enjoyed two top 40 albums, plus an illustrious supporting slot with AC/DC in America.

Hoping to join this illustrious set of bands are Antrim quintet The Hangfires. "Your Love" is an uncomplicated slice of rock and roll - 2 verses, several choruses, a guitar solo in the right place, and an extended guitar outro. And sometimes, that's all you really need.


Safe Ships - Invertebrates

The riff. The riff. All hail the glorious riff.

Belfast based group Safe Ships were recommended to this blog on Twitter after asking our followers about which local groups they were particularly excited about. "Invertebrates", taken from their most recent E.P "The Greatness Inside" is a powerful juggernaut of a rock tune, with heavy guitar riffs and vocals which go from a Johnny Rotten-esque snarl to hardcore overload over the space of 4 minutes. One cannot help but feel however that the song would have been greatly improved had the song had instead begun from the 1:45 mark, during the highly infectious "rich and famous" vocal hook.


Johnny Marvel - Brothers and Sisters

And finishing of this month's round-up is North Coast based alt-rock trio Johnny Marvel. Taken from their debut E.P "BlissfulHatefulBeautiful", "Brothers and Sisters" is a track which makes fine use of quiet/loud dynamics.

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