Category Archives: New EP

Transmission Club, Salt – EP Review

I need to go to Cork more. Not just for a holiday to see the regular sights that everyone talks about, but to actually go down and let my body soak up as many local gigs and bands as possible over the course of a weekend.

Why? Well I’m contacted by many bands for reviews – bands of all genres, but an overwhelming number of them are from Cork. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I need to say it again as it sees no sign of abating. And this is a good thing as all the bands are staggeringly great. No, really.

I’ve reviewed Cork band Transmission Club before. I was sucked in by their frankly sexual energy from the moment I saw them live . I loved their debut single too; ‘A Weak Heart’, so I was very excited when my inbox received their latest outing – ‘Salt’ a 3 track EP.

Transmission Club @ The Workman's
Transmission Club @ The Workman’s

Opening track ‘Honey and Milk’ had me immediately. You all know how I love a string arrangement in a song. Lead vocalist Michael Prendiville’s restrained, almost whisp like vocals are inspired. The band have found their trademark sound. It’s beautiful, and indeed flows through the ears like honey and milk.

‘Make Waves’ begins with an almost 90’s throwback drumbeat. then subtly reminds my of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ by The Stone Roses once it kicks off. Again Transmission Club’s signature sound is undeniable throughout – it’s a mixed blend of Cranberries, The Corrs, Sigur Rós, Villagers, and grunge/garage bands from the 90’s.

The final track ‘Sailing’ raises the tempo and volume slightly; going for a more seasoned grunge sound. There’s a definite deep south feel – it’s the perfect song for a Texan funeral. And the closing crescendo at the end is quality.

With this astonishingly high level of recording, production and verse emanating from a bedroom in Cork, it’s easy to see why Transmission Club are garnering the attention they deserve. Watch. This. Space.

Transmission Clubs EP ‘Salt’ drops on the 20th of November and will be available on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp. Physical copies will be available in Plug’d Records, Cork. The launch will take place in The Roundy, Cork on the same night. Be there.

Transmission Club Salt back sleeve
Transmission Club Salt back sleeve



Listen – Penrose, Live for The Dream EP

I came across Penrose a few weeks ago, and become an instant fan for two significant reasons.

The first reason – I received a physical copy of the CD in the post. This excited me no end. Seriously. I am of the age where I still love to have CD’s. Of course, like everyone else, I use the interwebz to listen and discover music, but nothing beats a physical product in your hand to salivate over. I love the smell of polycarbonate in the morning!

The second reason – and directly related to the first, is their genre defining sound. Instant 90’s Indie/Britpop/Rock throwback. It seemed quite fitting to receive a CD in the post then. Playing on my inner teenage emotions or a neat little marketing technique? You decide! I like to think it’s both. Good job Penrose.

The glorious Penrose!
The glorious Penrose!

The first track ‘See you again’  weaves clever guitar riffs reminiscent of The Coral and Oasis but with the softer, almost deliberately held back vocals of Travis. It works really well as an opener to the EP.

‘Melody’ is a nice happy go luck summer track which has enough gusto and catchiness to be a single and gain significant airplay. It will have you humming or singing along after a few listens. In keeping with the era, I’m reminded of  ‘Lemon Tree’ by Fools Garden – but don’t worry! Melody doesn’t exasperate like Lemon Tree does!

Harmony‘ throws a mixture of Ocean Colour Scene and Oasis at youSlower in tempo, introducing the guitar solo in the mid section and tambourine tapping throughout; this is Britpop 101, without being trite, and a tune I can’t wait to catch live.

‘Where you go now’ closes the EP Champagne Supernova style. It’s a fitting finale and sounds fantastic.

The EP sound, quality and production are of a high quality – even the physical CD screams excellence. Don’t misinterpret my Britpop references for a rehashed version of the afore-mentioned bands. Penrose has managed to pull this off without being clichéd and this EP could very well see them Live for the Dream.



Listen – Jamie Duff, EP

Jamie Duff is a busy man – and with good reason – He’s good. In fact he’s very good.

The folk rock scene both nationally and internationally is in its heyday and has introduced the world to many great artists. After developing his confidence on guitar for the last few years, Jamie jumped right in to the folk rock scene with enough panache, good looks and charm to warrant the attention of his peers.

Jamie Duff!
Jamie Duff!

It’s refreshing to listen to an EP released in this genre that does stand out. So what makes Jamie different? Well, vocally, Jamie’s voice is punchy, gritty and reminiscent at times of an early Bob Dylan. The rhythm of the EP is fast paced but doesn’t leave the listener jaded – there’s enough electric guitar, powerful kick drum beatings and raw energy to warrant hitting the replay button. The biggest seller for me though is introducing the listener to catchy riffs interwoven with topical or sad lyrics that you have no right tapping your feet to. Topics that should depress not impress The sign of a good singer/songwriter? You bet.

So now you can see just why he is in demand. He different. He’s unique, and after catching him in Bruxelles a few weeks ago, I can confirm that the women (and most probably the men) think he’s a dish. A musical trifecta sure to see him starside. Catch him while you can.

Jamie Duff EP Out Now!
Jamie Duff EP Out Now!

The EP is available now for download on Bandcamp here and iTunes here. Well worth more than the price offered if I’m honest.


White Line Fever Tonight @ The Workman’s

The sheer talent of these guys is jaw dropping.

If you’re looking for me tonight, this is where you’ll find me!

Finishing off their Irish tour in the Workman’s tonight after a string of savage venues which included The Grand Social and Crane Lane, I recommend catching White-Line Fever as they are on the cusp of becoming a pandemic**.

Artwork for White-Line Fever's Anomie EP
Artwork for White-Line Fever’s Anomie EP

If spooky echoes, haunting vocals, heavy riffs,  reverb and a whole lot more are your thing, I’ll see you there tonight. Let’s give them a good send off before they head back to Cork where they have already infected the population there.

Click here for my review of their current Anomie EP.

**Hazmat suits not included**



EP Review – Attack the Day, Shadows

Five Fermanagh guys,  influenced by every aspect of the musical spectrum and crafting it into their own style of post-rock/metal.

This is a very ambitious EP. One that certainly does dip in and out of many different styles and genres – without losing their own homebrew, signature sound.

Attack The Day
Attack The Day

And it’s all the better for it. It keeps your ears attentive and eager for the next track. You have plenty of opportunity to thoroughly ‘get’ what the young Fermanagh lads are up to – with 6 distinctly different tracks to salivate over, it’s longer than your average EP, but rewarding for being so.

The stand out track for me is the title ‘Shadows’. It encompasses everything I liked in music 15 years ago – gritty, thumping bass lines, garage sound, then moshing out at the end. Sweet.

One to watch in the alternative/metal scene. You can listen/buy the EP on bandcamp here.

Attack The Day Facebook play Fibber Magees on the 30th of June. Worth a look, and a mosh.

Attack The Day Shadows EP

Band Spotlight – MKAI

What’s in the water in Cork lately eh? There are so many great bands dawning my horizon lately – too many to even mention here. The bulk of the bands come from Dublin, but in recent weeks, Corkonians are gracing my ears more and more.

MKAI, the brethren duo (quartet when playing live), are the most recent Cork band to make me raise and eyebrow with their mix of Sigur Rós, Radiohead, early Coldplay (Parachutes), Muse, Editors and even the 80’s sensation Talk Talk, to name but a few. A mixed bag of talent there, but MKAI have managed to blend the mix in to a very edible cookie dough chock full of tasty tunes.

There’s no denying the power of their sound either as they gained significant publicity in November 2014 by knocking Taylor Swift’s 1989 from its comfy number three spot on the iTunes chart. No mean feat.

The EP that did the damage, with help from Rob Kirwan, was Waiting.

Moving down the genre of alternative, electro-rock, their latest single Loop sets darker tones in both melody and lyrics – it’s a clever name too as you will find yourself playing it on loop.

Having already played Hard Working Class Heroes, headlined Guinness Amplify live stages Cork, The Grand Social and Electric Picnic, things are moving fast for these guys. You can catch them at Indiependence later this year.

Impressive stuff, and one band I will certainly be watching in 2015.





EP Review – Hooligan, Criminal Damage

Not content with having a catchy name, an authentic punk sound, and a little controversy (queue ‘No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs’ EP in 2012; a throwback to the anti-Irish sentiment of the 1960’s), Hooligan are quickly setting the standard for Irish punk bands country-wide and abroad.

Hooligan In Odessa Courtesy of Hot Press
Hooligan In Odessa Courtesy of Hot Press

Their 4th EP, Criminal Damage, recorded in Trinity Heights Studio in Newcastle, sees their second release on Oi! The Boat Records and it effortlessly captures the era of 1970’s punk with its four ear melting tracks.

Oi! The Boat Records
Oi! The Boat Records

Simple but familiar head banging riffs, clever angst ridden anti-establishment lyrics, and stadium rock guitar solos are the hallmarks of all post punk pundits and Hooligan do not disappoint here.

For me though, they stand that little bit taller than the rest by grabbing elements of glam rock, hard rock and even grunge by the short and curly’s and stringing their guitar and bass with them – especially live.

Listen here now!


Spotlight – MINDRIOT, Low

I was 11 when I first set ears upon the Seattle sound I was about to fall in love with. My introduction was, and still is, one of my favourite albums to date – Pearl Jam, Ten. It has been a whirlwind romance with Pearl Jam for me throughout their album releases, but invariably, I always end up listening to ‘Ten’ as the fond memories of childhood flood back. Everyone has that kind of album I’m sure.

Imagine my amazement when I discovered an Irish band was able to evoke the same reaction in my sub-consciousness. Enter MINDRIOT and their recently released ‘Low’.

These guys have been around for a significant amount of time – two decades, this is enough time for any well-oiled machine to break down and stop working. Truth be told, these guys have been through their share of breakups and varying career breaks, anybody would after two decades, but their music has prevailed, just like many of their Seattle influenced bands still rocking our stages and arenas today.

The above mentioned influences are evident the moment you press play on any of their songs – Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Metallica, Alice in Chains and Mother Love Bone, to name but a few. It’s very easy to see why these bands are influential from great lyrics to melodies to soulful guitar solos, and MINDRIOT really have played homage to their forefathers here – Raw gritty vocals, a very catchy and radio friendly chorus, and well positioned guitar solos you can hum along to.

Perhaps we are seeing our very own Seattle bubble of rock in Ireland – I’d certainly like to think so. And if we are, MINDRIOT has not just kicked it off, but also set the standard.


Rocking Whelans on the 9th April, MINDRIOT will definitely put on a show worthy of you hard-earned cash. Tickets available here.

Sounds like: Seattle infused awesome rock

Find them: Reverbnation, Twitter, Facebook

|Music Monday| White-Line Fever, Anomie EP

Cork based White-Line Fever has hit the nail on the head with their offering in to the progressive folk/folk genre. Formed in 2014 by brothers Abbas and Ali Bracken with the aspiration to make thought-provoking and experimental music, their influences are evident throughout.

Both band and EP name naturally raise questions and eyebrows – instantly summoning thoughts of monotony, instability, lack of purpose or ‘simply the concept of monotony and tedium of life‘ as drummer Evan Prendergast puts it. Interesting, so what’s it like?

White Line Fever

From the onset, ‘Sirens in the Distance’ immediately lulls you in with laid back vocals, soft percussion and acoustics, before blending in electric guitars and heavier percussion – it works quite well here as the vocals remain laid back throughout which keeps the pace of the song somewhere between Midlake and Pink Floyd. The song finishes with an encore of reverb, synth, birds, traffic and echo – a choice I wasn’t expecting at the end, but the more I listened to it, the more it worked. It will be interesting to see this played live.

The second song ‘I see Icy Figures’ is the better of the two-track EP. It introduces us even more to what these guys are capable of doing – pleasing the ear with understated vocals and simple guitar riffs. At times it will remind you of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatros’. Have a listen and you’ll know what I mean. Interestingly, the song works really well acoustically, allowing for more dynamic, stripped back folk sound.

Video from Virtually Acoustic

The production value of recording in Claycastle Recording Studios, alongside producer John Burke is evident, and shows that these guys are serious about continuing with their experimental, progressive folk. I hope they do and am looking forward to hearing more tracks in the near future.

Sounds like: Pink Floyd, Midlake, Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac

Winning track: I see Icy Figures

Find them: Reverbnation, Facebook, Soundcloud