Sunday 31 May 2015

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round Up #35

It's been a while, hasn't it? Well, let's keep this preamble brief then and get right into this month's batch of wonderful tunes from Northern Ireland that have been floating The Metaphorical Boat this month - 

Hot Cops - Decay

We haven't written about Hot Cops on this site in over a year now, but it's fair to say that a band have really developed in the time since then. We've seen them live a few times, and have been very impressed with how well they come across, and they have been busy building up a caché of admirers, which culminated in them playing a slot at this year's Radio 1 Big Weekend in exotic Norwich (you can see part of their set on the BBC website, although it's probably be coming down soon enough).

The trio recently released a new double-A side single on a pay what you want basis, the best of the bunch being "Decay", a track which showcases their masterful mix of slackerish rock with grunge overtones. Plus this one oddly enough reminds us a little bit of The Magic Numbers, which is something a bit different, I guess.

There's a funny story as to how we first heard of Hot Cops when we first wrote about them last year. However, now is not the time to regale you with that particular story. In the meanwhile, enjoy "Decay":

Vokxen - Somebody

Vokxen have already picked up quite a bit of love despite only being a going concern for the past few months, the highlight of which being played on Cool FM (I know - a local band, being featured on a local commercial radio station. It's almost unthinkable, really). Although it's easy to see why their debut single "Somebody" has gone over so well with those of a radio-y persuasion, as they are one of the first groups from here to embrace such an overwhelmingly pop outlook for some time, quite possibly since the Wonder Villains. "Somebody" is a fantastic debut single, which mixes girl-group vocal harmonies with some juicy sounding keyboards and an incredibly infectious melody. Probably the group from here most likely to nab a slot supporting The Saturdays in the near future.

Although this is their debut single, we have covered some of the band's work in the past, as keyboardist Claire McCartney was formerly a member of Futurescope


Shadow Police - Sleep Tonight

The best thing about the film Drive (aside from the presence of Christina Hendricks, obviously), is that its soundtrack has given us a new comparison touchstone for comparing electronic music to, instead of just vaguely saying that something sounds like it comes 'from the 80s.' Which brings us neatly to "Sleep Tonight" by electro-pop duo Shadow Police, a song that does indeed sound like it would fit very neatly onto the soundtrack of said Ryan Gosling film, with its squelching electronic bass and rather distant vocals.


Alice Signal Fires - Starting Gun

It's a real shame among new and emerging bands that so many of them deliver some fantastic material, then subsequently split up before they can really reach their full potential. A few years ago, we were really excited by Carryduff based pop-punk band Kept Under Glass after being thoroughly won over by their song "I Don't Really Like Clubs". However, despite releasing a fore more tracks and gaining a bit of momentum, the band split up, never to be heard from again.

However, one of the members of that band, Declan McCrory, has teamed up with his brother and a few others to start a new project, Alice Signal Fires, and released the album "Ghosts" as a free download a few months back. Taken from the album is "Starting Gun", a track that's a little bit Americana, a little bit country, a little bit Neutral Milk Hotel, a little bit "Horse With No Name", and a little bit epic as well.

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