Archive for Review

Review: Twisted Wrath – Madman’s Chorus (EP Review)

Posted in EP Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2013 by Tickets There

290668102-1Sligo Rovers, the best pubs in the country and less stress; all things I miss about living back in the west. Now it turns out there’s something new to go back for; the incredible, Twisted Wrath. The Galway/Mayo quartet have been on the go for almost six years and have recently put out their second EP, Madman’s Chorus, as a free download. I’m writing that too much today, you f**kers should be paying for music this good 🙂

Madman’s Chorus is an all too short slice of thrash metal Gold. Four songs of pure head banging glory. Wall to wall riffs/shredding solos, speed drums and anthem grounded vocals. There’s not a moment on this EP where your attention begins to wane or songs drag out. Opener ‘North Titan’ is a mesh of Manowar meets Testament! Epic in content and uncompromising in its mission. The EP’s title track continues the power and adds an almost Maiden element to the lyrics. Nowhere to hide – this song is a hammering attack of thrash metal at its best (well, close to its best).

‘To The Sword‘ comes swooping in, not very distinct from the previous songs, before suddenly accelerating into Slayer-esque thrash territory; where’s it’s harder riffs and grittier, heavier vocals. By the time ‘Smoke’ kicks in you’ll be begging for more but sadly, it’s the closing tune and a fitting end to a great second EP from a very promising band.

With all these Dublin bands blowing TT’s auld head these days, it’s great to see homeland bands aren’t lagging behind. Twisted Wrath are an excellent find and well worth as much of your time as you can spare. Listen to them now on Bandcamp.

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Review: WARPATH / Dead Label / Psykosis / Vile Regression / Only Fumes & Corpses + More @ Fibber MaGees (April 13th 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2013 by Tickets There

549127_10151602107258200_84724036_nAny night spent at the WARPARTY is always going to deliver chaos, drinks and a rake of great tunes from one of Ireland’s leading metal bands. Tonight though, the mighty Warpath are getting support from sixteen other Irish groups, all playing varying styles of metal. Everything from Thrash, Death metal, hardcore, punk and Groove is catered for tonight and the drinks are flowing! Almost eight hours of metal, played out over two stages for the amazingly cheap price of €5. Fibbers, are you ready?

Things are in full swing when TT arrives. Clurichan are courting the upstairs crowd and sounding much stronger than this time last year when I last saw them. Their bassist (Tommy Buckley) still looks like a member of the Stone Roses, but no harm seeing one person stand out. After drinks are reigned in, it’s time to leg it downstairs and catch the end of By Conquest or Contest. These guys come from Belfast and TT is interested in seeing how they progress over the next couple of years. For now the lads sound good, play well and keep the crowd happy. Next time i hope to say a lot more about them, but right now it’s time for Psykosis!

532054_10151602106923200_959045676_nPsykosis were a late addition to tonight’s line-up, but the lack of notice doesn’t phase the lads. Even repeated sound issues, a missing microphone and lack of backing vocals doesn’t stop them shredding their way through an abbreviated set packed with crowd favourites. ‘Toxic Fugitive’ gets the mosh pit off to an early start while closers, ‘Terror At 3am’ and ‘Driller Killer’ send bodies, drinks and any thoughts of paced drinking out the window. Excellent performance as always; capped by the promise that they’ll be back to play their own headlining show soon.

555768_10151602106738200_1794130029_nThe next few hours are filled with wandering between stages, great music, the bar and Fibber’s overly appealing catacombs and smoking area. Upstairs Aesect are thundering through an impressive set. Having never seen them live before, their show is an attention grabber. They have a great sound and are definitely worth a second, third look. After that we get treated to some hardcore courtesy of Galway’s finest, Only Fumes & Corpses. TT first discovered these lads back in the MySpace Review days and after some initial hesitations, we grew fond. OFAC put on a strong show, blaring out positivity, killer riffs and energy by the bucket load. At this stage though, drink is needed.

548878_10151602107223200_1428710560_nWith some lineup changes, the order of things starts to misalign and instead of Spitting Bones, TT stumbles upon Murdock, a noisy punk hardcore three piece from Offaly. Unfortunately these guys just don’t do it for TT, but their show is undeniably full on and becomes more difficult to walk away from as it goes on. Both guitarist (Aidan Cunningham) and bassist (Michael Keyes) spend copious amounts if time playing from the crowd, wrecking mic stands and generally keeping things interesting. The music may not be our thing, but the show is fun.

525425_10151602106708200_118071200_nBack upstairs Vile Regression punish their fans with a blistering show. These boys have been around long enough to perfect their stuff and tonight there’s no doubt their fanbase will increase. Next up is Dead Label and they’re just what’s needed to keep things going more than six hours into this show. The floor packs up as they take stage and lead us closer to tonight’s headliners. Dead Label pack their set with tracks from their debut album, Sense of Slaughter which they released earlier this year. New single, ‘Are You Ready to Kill?‘ Adds an extra boost of energy towards to end of their set before things finish off with just one band left to go.

It’s been said before and it’ll be said again; Warpath are a juggernaut on this country’s metal scene. It’s only been a little under two months since TT last caught them onstage and that’s far too long to go without. After recently performing in Norway at the Inferno Metal festival, Darren, Dario, Karl, Eoin and Joe are back and ready to raise hell, fists and pints in their mission to blow all the other bands away and end the night with a vicious assault on the ears. With the downstairs stage now closed, it’s time to party!

541462_10151602107123200_1768076710_nMunting Season’ opens a set evenly packed with crowd favourites from their two studio albums (2007’s Gorefare and 2010’s Malevolent Reprisal), as well as a couple of new tracks to whet our appetites as we wait for album number three. ‘The Red Mist’ and ‘Extreme Rendition’ continue to punish the swelling crowd and the fatigue from those first seven hours seems to wear off. As the heat rises on and off stage, the band treat us to ‘Brutal Paralysis’ before performing a new track entitled, ‘Shackled to the Chains of Command’. Two more trips to Malevolent Reprisal follow before 2012’s ‘preview song’, ‘Infectors’ gets an airing. Judging by these tunes, there is nothing about Warpath’s material that shows any hint of slowing down…as if anyone expected it to.

485185_10151602107393200_1930162149_nTaking a break to down some luscious Buckfast, Darren remarks on the appearance of the band’s old bass player up the front and the heat of the venue, before kindly instructing us to form the biggest pit of the night and tear the place apart! Of course we all oblige as the band belt into ‘Skinned and Salted’, ‘Point Blank Execution’ and ‘Gorefare’ which bring us closer to the end of the night, extreme alcohol poisoning and chronic dehydration…but they’re not done yet. Darren reflects on the passing of Hate bassist, Slawek “Mortifer” Archangielskij (R.I.P.) last week and dedicates a cover of Deicide’sWhen Satan Rules His World’, which sees another pit explode in front of the stage and Warpath bassist, Eoin Dunne, get in on the action (losing a t-shirt in the process). The band get the go a-head for one last tune and bring the house down with ‘Demonic Possession’, wrapping up more than eight hours of incredible music from some of the best groups you could spend a night listening to. Excellent, excellent show that would be hard to beat, even form the most accomplished bands in the industry.

..and apologies to Eoin, I owe you a t-shirt 🙂

Review: Overoth – Kingdom of Shadows

Posted in Album Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , on April 12, 2013 by Tickets There

550350592-1Overoth have been kind enough to re-release their debut album, Kingdom of Shadows and being black hearted megalomaniacs, we felt TT should have a say. If you’ve seen Overoth at any time over the past two years since Kingdom of Shadow’s release, you’ll know they are a powerful force to be reckoned with. Lead singer, Andy Ennis cuts an imposing figure on stage and commands a dominant presence; supported by an intensely dense, doom/death metal bellowing backline(I know what backline means, but it suited the moment).

Kingdom of Shadows’ and ‘I Am One, I Am All’ crack the lid on a treasure trove of isolated darkness, carnage and aggression. The title track is fast paced, classic death metal while I Am One, I Am All injects the band’s heavier, doom, sound made stronger by Andy’s reverbing growls. ‘Summon the Cursed’ is flanked by thick echoing riffs that sway with the song before bursts of extremity explode out of nowhere. `The Serpent of Old’ and ‘Led to the Slaughter’ are two of the strongest pieces on the album. Face slapping metal in its finest form. At times the impact is a little muddled, but raw with power and both songs show the ability this band has and boasts potential for their next record.

BGUU97qCMAECQCNPathway to Demise’ and ‘Obsidian Blade’ continue to reinforce the bands power, but offer little in the way of real originality. They pale even further when the show stealing, ‘Upon The Alar’ awakens. A heaving brute of a tune that perfectly captures each band member falling into place, allowing them to deliver the song they’ve hinted at throughout the record. Haunting guitars, sparse echoes and militaristic force. ‘The Forbidden Realm’ builds on the revamped interest Upon The Altar gives in dramatic fashion. While not as forceful, it’s complexity, speed and focus drive the song and the album home.

Kingdom of Shadows may not have the most life changing songs in its ranks, but it does an excellent job at relaying the bands live sound and brute strength. At the same time it manages to drop a few regulars into your playlist and build anticipation for Overoth’s next release. If Kingdom of Shadows is anything to go by, Overoth will be a death metal household name in no time.

Review: Psykosis / Exzeltic / Edenfire @ Club Carnage – Fibber MaGee’s (April 5th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2013 by Tickets There

20130408-005012.jpgMetal fans living in Dublin, drinking anywhere but Fibbers tonight are losing out (broke, sick, murderous fans excused), because when you get three bands like Psykosis, Exzeltic and Edenfire playing the same night together, it’s not something to skip. Club Carnage may not be the most packed venue of all time, but there’s a good strong crowd in to hear some of the best thrash metal Dublin has to offer. A night made even sweeter by cheap entry, cheap booze and more than enough room to mosh the Buckfast away \,,/

562339_10151591375713200_595606017_nEdenfire are just getting warmed up when TT reaches the venue. Only the second group on and already there’s an impressive crowd gathered around the front of the stage. The band sound strong, playing tracks from their debut EP and displaying skills that only come from the vast number of shows Edenfire have been playing over the last two years. Getting better with each performance and definitely ones to watch over the next year.

5958_10151591349468200_209870050_nEver since seeing this next band sweep through last year’s Wacken Metal Final semi finals; Tickets There has loved Exzeltic. In fact I’d find it hard to understand anyone who likes thrash metal not liking them. Adam, Connor, Neil and ‘Giller’ are four of the most talented, energetic and ferocious musicians on the scene today. With a small arsenal of songs at their disposal, Exzeltic has masterfully wielded their tracks into merciless destroyers. Extended solos played with extreme precision and unrelenting riffs pack their unfortunately short set with more power than you’re likely to see from any of the greats. Their bruising ‘Agents of Chaos’ and cover of Megadeth’s ‘Hanger 18 finish the night in epic style. Exzeltic are a new band with a lot to offer. Now we just wait until they’re ready for a full blown release. However tonight belongs to headliners Psykosis and they’re ready to light this place up.

482758_10151591349158200_1034823677_nI’ll be blunt – Psykosis are so good live its borderline ridiculous. This is the third or fourth time I’ve been able to catch them and each show sets the bar a little higher. They trump their excellent support bands in terms of performance, catalogue and skill together. Each song is delivered with flawless style and gut punching brutality. Yet the band still maintain and extremely relaxed, fun approach and are able to put on a stellar show without it seeming a challenge or like they’re going through the motions. Band interaction between songs and their best known hits saved till last (‘Toxic Fugitive’ and ‘Terror at 3am’!) complete a night of unbeatable metal.

543992_10151591348978200_1066333988_nWhat we got here…is some of the finest talent the Irish metal world has to offer; in the prime of their early days together. When these bands start releasing albums and touring extensively – there will be no stopping them. Anyone who like their Overkill, Megadeth, Slayer…etc, needs to get their asses down to the Pint, to Fibbers and anywhere else they play and support these bands before we lose them to the continent or the States. One incredible night from all involved.

Review: Slash (Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators) – Live @ The Olympia (March 4th 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by Tickets There

6430444c859e11e2a52022000a1f9e5e_7Everyone’s favourite top hat supporting, bad ass guitarist is in Dublin! No matter how many times Slash visits this country, the excitement of knowing he’s here never seems to wane and he isn’t shy about turning up. Ireland has been fortunate to receive him with Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and now with his solo project, Slash (featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators). Ireland loves Slash and by a happy coincidence, Slash seems to love us too. The fact that he gets on stage every time he pops over and plays a mean set of mother f**king rock ‘n’ roll is just a bonus. Tonight’s crowd in the Olympia are a resounding endorsement of that love.

d7d7b368859d11e2844022000a1f9adf_7No matter what style of music you favour, job you have, hipster trend you follow or back alley you like to sleep through your hangover in, you’re represented here (I will volunteer to speak for the latter). The venue is rammed very soon after opening time and everyone is gasping with excitement and anticipation. Opening band, The Treatment, leap on stage and blow the crowd away with some good old fashioned 80’s sleaze cock rock. The whole band throw themselves into the performance and explode with heavy riffs, sing-along, hair metal boldness and alluring choruses. Supporting someone like Slash is a daunting task and it’s easy to ignore the support but The Treatment manage to get everyone on board tonight. Closing with ‘Shake the Mountain’, the band depart conquering heroes and for a moment you could almost forget the night is only starting.

Well, Charlie Sheen isn’t here – but we got those losers from Sunday night beat. In attendance tonight we have the legendary Martin ‘Eddie Durkan’ Maloney of Hardy Bucks fame in the house. Many pics were taken, many a scene played out. No warm Castletown intro for headliners unfortunately, but you can’t have it all. All of a sudden the houselights go dark, the PA kicks in and it’s time for the main event.

818a5154859e11e2844022000a1f9adf_7Slash arrives on stage to the throng of 1,600 voices screaming. The sight of the legendary axe man sends the Olympia into hysterics with people clamouring to squeeze as close to the barrier as possible as the band kicks off with ‘Halo’, from last year’s Apocalyptic Love album. The band sound great and considering this is the final date of a very long tour European tour, they’re still bursting with energy and charisma. Like or loath Myles Kennedy, the man knows how to get a crowd going and tonight he’s working overtime. Every note from Slash’s guitar rings loud above everything else as they blister through ‘Nightrain’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Back From Cali’, the second single from his self-titled debut. Everything is getting an airing tonight from GN’R, Slash’s Snakepit to Velvet Revolver and his solo material and they’re in no rush to wrap things up quickly. ‘By The Sword’ sees the energy continue to grow in the band and crowd alike before bassist, Todd Kerns takes over vocals for ‘Dr. Alibi’ and Guns classic, ‘You’re Crazy’. I don’t know if Alter Bridge fans will forgive me, but Todd sort of blows Myles Kennedy off stage as his voice lacks the clean safety that Myles has and instead delivers a grittier, harder take on the tracks.

b73a967a859d11e2b56022000a9f1354_7Not speaking much, Slash let’s his guitar do the talking but does take enough time to thank the crowd and speak about the tour wrapping up. The epic ‘Civil War’ solidifies the crowd’s devotion before an extended jam laden rendition of ‘Rocket Queen’ blows the place apart, helped by a good five+ minute solo from Slash. It’s here that Myles can genuinely deliver a Guns song as he perfectly hits every note with perfection. Returning to his two solo albums, Slash knocks out ‘No More Heroes’, ‘Starlight’, ‘Anastasia’ and ‘You’re A Lie’ before closing the main set with fan favourites; ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’ and Velvet Revolver’s ‘Slither’. Over an hour and a half and we’re still hungry for more. They return to finish us off with ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ (again featuring Todd on vocals) and ‘Paradise City’, complete with exploding confetti and all. This part of the night gets blurry for yours truly. A lethal concoction of Guinness, Jack N’ Cokes and Slash left me hell for leather in the midst of sweat, booze, head banging and sing along pit behaviour.

Two hours of classics, icons and good vibes. There’s not a lot €40 buys you in Ireland these days, but Slash knows how to deliver value for money and you couldn’t have asked for better value tonight. Come back soon Slash, you’re welcome anytime.

Review: Adler – Back From The Dead

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Tickets There

adlerbackdeadWe promised you’d hear more about these guys and it’s time to deliver. Since we last checked in on them, Adler have gone and released this perfectly excellent debut album – how dare they?. For those of you who aren’t up to speed (like us insanely super sexy glam rock fanatics), Adler is made up of former Guns N’ Roses/Adler’s Appetite sticksman, Steven Adler, Jacob Bunton (x- Mars Electric – lead vocals), Lonny Paul (x- Lynam guitar/vocals) and Johnny Martin (Bass/vocals). Anyone with any pre-notions about this album should get ready to leave them at the door.

Back From The Dead is one of the best glam rock records we’ve heard in years. Steven hasn’t tried to steer the band towards Appetite for Destruction Island in search of some remaining buried treasure they can capitalize on. Instead, Jackob Bunton and Lonny Paul have written a very impressive collection of punchy hits that deliver the perfect mix of heaviness, attitude, punk rock and hair sprayed appeal. There’s scarcely a moment to breathe on Back from the Dead as you’re pounded with one guitar driven assault after another.

ADlerGroupOpening with the title track, you’re immediately cast into seedy California as the song attempts to convey a message Steven wants to make very clear – he is back. ‘Own Worst Enemy’ and ‘Another Version of the Truth’ continue with the ass kicking style. The album’s first single, ‘The One That You Hated’ still sounds as fresh and exhilarating as it did last year and all fears are gone when it isn’t the only stand out moment on this release. Former Marilyn Manson / current Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 adds his unique touch on ‘Good to be Bad’ (and someone adds an excellent ‘should have been Axl’ backing to the chorus). While former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash lends a hand on ‘Just Don’t Ask’ (we’re assuming the wonderful Spanish guitar intro and of course his signature style solo).

‘Blown Away’ brings us well into the second half with another ballsy hard rock anthem before Adler attempt ballad territory with ‘Waterfall’. I’ll leave you to make your own minds up on that one, it will not be mentioned again here. ‘Habit’ sends us rocketing back on course followed swiftly by another ballad attempt, ‘Your Diamonds’ which is a drastic improvement on the previously mentioned effort. Finally we come to ‘Dead Wrong’, an all out warrior of wall shaking bass lines and ravenous guitar riffs and solos. An excellent closer for Back from the Dead, so good in fact you’ll just want to start all over again.

Whatever about the last twenty off years of Steven’s life, there’s no denying he has something real to hold onto here. Adler could probably have chosen another name if they wanted to be completely removed from their most famous member’s previous associations, but the name be damned. There are almost no traces of GN’R on this record. Instead you have a new band with experience behind them and an albums worth of absolute mind blowers for you. Go to Spotify, find it, listen and enjoy.

Hellfire()Sounds Review: Warcrux (Warcrux E.P.)

Posted in EP Review, Hellfire()Sounds : REVIEWS, Music, New Music with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2012 by Tickets There

We’re a little behind on the auld review front, so let’s start with a 2011 release from Belfast metallers Warcrux. They describe themselves as a thrash / sleaze band, but we’re not getting that from the EP. All the hallmarks of later Metallica are there and there’s some goof foundations for things to come, but the sound is much more polished, less aggressive and at times – too acoustic for thrash metal. The sleaze? nah.

Kicking off with ‘Ties That Bind’, the slow acoustic build up unfortunately doesn’t lead into the typhoon of riffs and Armageddon you might expect. There’s no sign of thrash or sleaze and little to distinguish the song from any other young band trying to impersonate ReLoad Metallica. As deep as it tries to be, it just doesn’t hit the mark in any way and even the double bass drums can’t save it.

Good news, ‘Pray For Ares’ puts the EP on its feet and finally we get a little metal. The vocals don’t deliver that deathly blow this blogger thinks metal bands need, but it’s a marked improvement from Ties That Bind. Goes on for a bit, but with pints involved it could be a handy live number. ‘Leave Me To Crawl’ has another one of those melodic intros, but the band don’t mess with you this time.  James Hetfield sounds good on vocals…. Ah no, the singer improves a fair amount here. Riffs, solos, heaviness a gogo all packed into one place. Most bands would probably finish a metal EP with the ballad song but in this case, we’re glad Warcrux pounded out the metal for us.

On that note – well worth checking out. Young band who can only improve. Stay away from the acoustic guitars until you’ve completed your Kill Em All and all will be well….well as in dead since you’re killing them all. I’m killing this piece right now aren’t I? Doesn’t matter, no one’s reading anyway.

Review: Adler – Good To Be Bad (Single)

Posted in Music, Single Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2012 by Tickets There

Two songs in and things are still on the up and up. With the surprising awesomeness of their debut single, ‘One That You Hated’, it seems ADLER are not destined to be a one hit wonder. Their new song, ‘Good To Be Bad’ is heavier, crunchier and still retains that pounding sing along swagger that caught our attention last time. This time they’ve brought in the distinctive John 5 (Marilyn Manson / Rob Zombie) to add a little electro-horror flavour into the guitars.

Although Steven Adler is one of the infamous founding members of Guns N’ Roses, listeners may not be confronted with the sound they’re expecting. Rather than re-hash the classic LA hair metal style that 25 years ago made Guns the most famous band in the world, ADLER have chosen a more contemporary sound and just carry over the style of song (yup, that means solos, catchy chorus and a sprinkle of sleaze – no NU-METAL).

Their album, Back From The Dead, hits shelves next month. Pre-Orders are available now through the bands official website – Adlerrocks@Blogspot. You can download ‘Good To Be Bad’ NOW from iTunes.

Review: W.A.S.P. – Live @ Vicar Street (September 25th, 2012)

Posted in Gig Review, INTO-NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2012 by Tickets There

Looking at Blackie Lawless in his thirtieth year of fronting W.A.S.P., it would be slightly forgivable to think the band is officially washed up. A man in the latter half of his mid-fifties still wearing eye liner, very unflatteringly tight get ups and his pre-emo hair sprayed do have all the hallmarks of a band that can’t move on. ….wait a minute, the person who writes those words should be shot!!

W.A.S.P. returned to Ireland tonight in spectacular form, bringing their much anticipated 1982 – 2012 Thirty year celebration tour to Dublin’s Vicar Street! A two hour, three part show that promised to dazzle, delight and rock your socks off, delivered everything a fan could ask for (no, no ‘Animal’ so stop wondering now). With a good two hours of hits and fan favourites to hammer out, the band wasted little time taking the stage and rocketing straight into ‘On Your Knee’s which sprang the audience to life. ‘The Torture Never Stops’, ‘The Real Me’, ‘ L.O.V.E. Machine’ all follow in quick succession with Blackie seemingly determined to prove W.A.S.P. have more than enough material to allow themselves to put some of their best right up front. The iconic ‘Wild Child’blasts through the PA with raw energy and nerve shattering vocals, fuelling the most pit that’s quickly expanding in the centre of the crowd.

Finally taking time to say hello, Blackie indulges in the famous “Irish hospitality’, even going so far as to attempt an Irish accent,  as the band rattle on with a melody of  fan favourites ‘Hellion, I Don’t Need No Doctor’ and ‘Scream Until You Like It’, pauing briefly before ‘Sleeping (In the Fire)’ and ‘Forever Free’.The Headless Children’ and the classic ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’ are performed in full as the main set closers, ending amost an hour of intense, sing along hard rock. With that, band are off and the crowd settles in for one of several short films W.A.S.P. are playing between sets and encores on this tour. When the band return, they celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘The Crimson Idol’ album with a mini set comprised of material from that album. ‘The Idol’ and ‘Misconceptions of Me’ receive the warmest greeting before another short intermission / short film.

With the audience now completely satisfied by the bands biggest hits and hardcore favourites, WASP have the easy job of finishing us off with some classic closers. Blackie takes the stage again, bandsaw arm bands shinning bright and recounts a tale where iconic W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes made the mistake of leaving change from $100 on a bar in Ireland after buying a drink. It seems poor Chris was unaware of an auld Irish tradition of using money left of the bar to buy drinks for the house – his security men saved him from likely beating when he tried to get it back. Thanking us for that experience, they kick off the encore. ‘Murders In The New Morgue (Chainsaw Charlie – \,,/)’ explodes out (sadly without the pyros some venues are getting on this tour) and sends the crowd into a frenzy. The sombre  ‘Heaven’s Hung In Black’ gets the powerful performance it deserves before W.A.S.P. finish us off with the anthematic ‘Blind In Texas’. Thanking the crowd, the band leave the stage after delivering one of the best Irish performances of their career. No Elvis, no blood, no pyros and no Animal – but W.A.S.P. don’t need them. After thirty years in the business, Blackie has amassed more than enough material and stage presence to do away with cheap gimmicks and deliver a quality show based on his music alone. Long live W.A.S.P. – see you soon!

House of Dolls – Welcome to the Department of Nuclear Medicine (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , on June 7, 2012 by Tickets There

Earlier this year, House of Dolls asked their fans to help them make a record through a :fund:it campaign. Showing the DIY spirit is alive and well (with a little help from investors – Ed.) the band have finally completed and released their debut album, ‘Welcome To The Department of Nuclear Medicine’. Twelve songs that delve into the band’s defining melancholic, alt-rock core and further explores that infectious psychedelic sound first heard on ‘Gimmie Some Glory’ and ‘Before She Wakes’.

Opening with the full throttle ‘I Thought You Were My Friend’ and ‘Murder Machine’, the record refuses to pull it’s punches and sets you up for the ambient and wonderful ‘Photograph’ (sadly not a cover of the Def Leppard classic….next time – Ed.), ‘Prostitutes’ ups the tempo with its chunky guitars and vintage punk influence before the stellar ‘Into The Void’ shines through. Set on a basic bass line, Into the Void is wrapped it in both vastness and heavy, spiralling, soring leads and bewitching vocals. An excellent song if ever there was one.

Despite sticking closely to their formula sound, the band are able to diverse themselves into several different forms of attack. On heavier / rocking numbers such as ‘Light Starts to Fade’, No Excuses’, ‘Ills’ and ‘American Dream’ House of Dolls put both feet forward, pounding you with guitars and solid vocals while the more radio friendly numbers like ‘Lovers & Clowns’, ‘Photograph’, ‘Into The Void’, and ‘All I Need’ maintain the same gritty overtone, but stay neatly wrapped in a polished, well thought out collision of instrumental leads and un-intruding vocals.

An excellent album from start to finish and one well worth buying if you’re looking for some new blood on the scene.

Review: The Happy Mondays – Live @ The Olympia (May 15th 2012)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by Tickets There

It’s my belief that history is a wheel. “Inconsistency is my very essence” -says the wheel- “Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don’t complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away”Boethius, (524 AD) (and err – Tony Wilson apparently)

It’s been 32 years since The Happy Mondays first formed in Manchester, 25 since their first album, 22 since they hit global success, 10 years since the film 24 Hour Party People brought them a second wave of mass interest and here they are again, reformed and ready to rock. If Boethius was correct and history is a wheel, then the Mondays are strapped to perpetual motion. Tonight, the original line-up of the band are back together and playing their first Dublin show since….well, last night actually. The original line-up, the always gorgeous and incredible Rowetta and fellow Madchester legends; Inspiral Carpets – it’s going to be a good one – F**kin’ MAD4IT!

Opening the show at the happily wedged Olympia are the carpets. Clint Boon passes up the decks for his customary keyboards and along with singer, Stephen Hall keep the crowd on their toes for a good 40 minutes. Classic tracks like ‘Joe’, ‘She Comes In The Fall’, ‘This Is How It Feels’, ‘I Want You’ and ‘Move’ still sound fresh and get everyone – fan or not; on board, while new track, ‘You’re So Good For Me’ shows the band might have some surprises in store for us further down the line’. A great set from a band that still have a lot to offer and hopefully they’ve made enough of a mark tonight to come back for their own show soon.

With the DJ wrapping up, pints in hand and a packed Olympia; it’s time for the main event. The reported absence of Bez from the tour disappointed some, but as soon as the house lights go down the iconic dancer appears to introduce the band (for the first time in 19 years) before the Mondays strut on to the stage as if they’ve never been apart. Paul, Gary, Mark, Paul Davis, Shaun and Rowetta assemble themselves, kicking off the slow build up on ‘Loose Fit’. Every note echoes everything the crowd loves about the Mondays and proclaims – ‘we are back’. You can’t help but notice how well the iconic (and often infamous) band look and sound these days. Any hesitations that the Mancunian heroes may be past it are instantly dashed as the band thunder through a hit packed set. As the first notes of ‘Kinky Afro’ roar out, Bez returns, maracas in toe; jerking everyone to their feet and with that, the night has well and truly arrived.

‘Donavon’, ‘God’s Cop’, ‘Judge Fudge’ and ‘24 Hour Party People’ pack up the early set which sees Shaun continuingly interacting with the band and fans, even managing to get the notoriously quiet Paul Ryder to say a few words. The band is obviously enjoying the reunion as much as the fans as they smile and joke their way through the gig. ‘Rave On’ and ‘Cowboy Dave’ give hard-core fans a real treat while ‘Hallelujah’ let’s Rowetta’s ever inspiring voice bring the house down. ‘Bob’s Yer Uncle’, ‘Mad Cyril’ and ‘Step On’ (which again sees Bez re-emerge to another rapturous cheer) finish off the main set with a blast before the Mondays come back to attack ‘Jellybean’ from the Monday’s last album, ‘Uncle  Dysfunktional’ before closing the night with ‘Wrote For Luck’.

There’s no doubt about it, the Mondays are back and they are still a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully this reunion will carry on for a long time to come because some bands were made to play together and this lot are definitely one of them. Mancunians Rave on!

 

Review: Guns N’ Roses – Live @ The O2, Dublin (May 17th, 2012)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by Tickets There

“Axl’s not coming, he fell off a table in Russia and isn’t allowed to fly at the moment”. Just leaving the central bar on O’Connell Street to catch the Luas down to the O2 and one waiter talks himself out of ever getting my custom again with that little comment. But then again, what’s a Guns N’ Roses gig without a little drama?

Entering the O2 tonight brings back some of those worries and dreads from 2010 (the elephant in the room), but these are dashed instantly as a completely different crowd and atmosphere await. There’s no-one falling over the place, spilling their blue WKD’s and roaring insults at everything in sight. There’s no booing, complaining or bickering. Instead there’s an excitement in the air and the sight of Thin Lizzy taking the stage only heightens that.

Anyone that’s caught the Irish legends over the past few years will attest that they are the strongest line-up of the band since their glory days with Philo. Brian Downey and Scott Gorham are still there, looking and sounding great but the show stealer is frontman, Ricky Warwick. He avoids the cliché of adopting Phil’s moves and style to the letter, choosing instead to inject his own road tested brand of rock n’ roll energy and deep vocals which boost the songs energy and the band’s performance. Tonight they magnetically blaze through classics such as ‘Emerald’, ‘Jailbreak’, ’Don’t Believe A Word’, ‘Cowboy Song’, ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ and ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ before finishing off with ‘Black Rose’, noted favourite of Guns singer Axl Rose. The announcement of a headlining show later in the year doubtfully went un-noted by tonight’s attendees. Now, on to the main event!

Lizzy leave the stage around 9:30 and it’s time to let the anticipation begin. Unlike Guns’s previous show in Dublin, the crowd tonight seem more than happy to wait things out as the bar queues extend, the smoking area expands and everyone kicks back and relaxes with good tunes coming from the PA. Before we know it, the house lights go dark and it’s time to rock n roll.

Under their massive video backdrop, guitarist DJ Ashba climbs on high to deliver the show’s signature opening of ‘Chinese Democracy’ before their legendary frontman explodes to life amidst a massive pyro display. The crowd give a rapturous welcome to the band as they commandeer every inch of the stage, taking no prisoners in their mission to give their fans the greatest show possible. Guitarists Ron Thal, Richard Fortus and especially DJ Asba barely stand still for a moment as they rocket from side to side, lapping up the crowds cheers and delivering note perfect performances while Axl’s razor sharp vocals and on stage magnetism conquers all. Despite persistent rumours that he’s gained hundreds of pounds in weight, lost his voice and is apparently stuck in Russia, he is on stage, looking incredible, sounding better than ever and 100% guaranteed – is not a hologram. Even with his very recent and very serious looking leg injury, Axl still dances and moves across the stage likes there’s no tomorrow, even climbing up to the podiums on either side to greet everyone.

Set classics such as ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, ‘It’s So Easy’, ‘Mr. Brownstone’ and ‘Rocket Queen’ electrify the crowd while Chinese Democracy heavyweights ‘Sorry’, ‘This I Love’, ‘Street of Dreams’ and ‘Better’ bellow through the audience with incredible energy and force.

The band appears in great spirits, obviously delighted with the change since their last performance. Axl interacts on several occasions with the crowd even quipping that despite his leg injury (I’m) “probably moving a lot more than the last time I was here” before grinning and carrying on. Solo’s from the band add refreshing breaks from the onslaught of heavyweight classics and Chinese Democracy juggernauts and give each of the guys a chance to show the fans why they’re members of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time. Tommy Stinson performs ‘Motivation’, a song from his previous band The replacements. DJ Ashba moves in with his own ‘Mi Amor’ solo. Dizzy Reed gives us a little ‘Baba O’Riley’ from The Who and Ron Thal knocks out his take on the Pink Panther theme before slipping in a little ‘Danny Boy’ for the crowd.

You Could Be Mine’, ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’, ‘November Rain’ (preceded by Axl Rose’s piano solo) and ‘Don’t Cry’ deliver hit after hit before the band kick back with a cover of AC/DC’sWhole Lotta Rosie’ – doing the DC proud! The mighty and rarely heard ‘Estranged’ adds a wave of euphoria to those in attendance who swear it’s the bands greatest recorded moment before the epic ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ and assaulting ‘Nightrain’ bring the main set to a close. Just when you think they’ve nothing left in them, the band return for a quick jam before launching into ‘There Was A Time’, one of the most accomplished songs in their arsenal before delivering ‘Civil War’ and one final blowout performance of ‘Paradise City’. With red confetti flying in the air, thousands of fans screaming and cheering the band on, Axl and co bow before their final signoff – three hours after walking on stage, “Thanks for coming out, thanks for putting up with my lame ass and thanks for not throwing shit”. Anytime Mr. Rose because good things come to those who wait – come back soon!

The Walls – Stop The Lights (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by Tickets There

If there’s one thing The Walls can never be accused of, it’s rushing things. It’s been a seven long years since the release of their last album, ‘New Dawn Breaking’, but the brothers haven’t been hanging on their laurels. They’ve toured, both as the Walls and The Stunning, released singles, an EP; all the while working away on their third release. It’s been a long time coming and no easy feat to accomplish, but finally ‘Stop The Lights’ is ready.

People who’ve seen the band live over the past two years will be very familiar with some of the material on Stop The Lights, but it still manages to sound as fresh and enticing on record as it did on stage. ‘Bird In A Cage’ opens the album with it’s wonderful gentle rhetoric and infectious poppy groove. Advance singles ‘Phantom Power’, ‘Carrying the Fire’ and ‘Stop The Lights’ sound reinvigorated and inviting; but the real focus for Tickets is on the more unheard material.

The Great Escape’ and ‘It Goes Without Saying’ are excellent pieces of music. ‘The Great Escape’ is stripped back, lasting and lonely, while ‘It Goes Without Saying’ delivers one of those catchy as a cold choruses the Walls have built their reputation on.  ‘Dead Flowers’ delivers a little rumpus into the room with heavier guitars and keyboards. Not quite ‘Drowning Pool’ but everything you could want. ‘All A Blur’ and ‘Doodlesque’ continue the positive flow before the album reaches its peak with ‘Thanks For The Photographs’ and ‘May The Road Rise’, which are both crowning achievements of the album. Equally they express the passion, honesty and incredible grasp the Wall brothers have for song writing.

Stop The Lights is out officially released on Friday, March 9th from retailers and online stores. It gets its release party in Whelan’s on March 29th before the lads hit the road for shows in Limerick and Galway. Stand by for more dates over the coming weeks.

Review: Rammstein – Live @ The O2, Dublin (February 27th, 2012)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by Tickets There

They came with fire, brimstone, explosions and blood; to lay waste to a sold out crowd in Ireland’s largest indoor arena. For their first ever Irish show, Rammstein came to conquer and that is exactly what they did. Not for a long time has a ‘gig’ generated so much excitement and hype amongst an audience. Maybe the almost eight month wait been its announcement and  the actual event helped, but more so it is Rammstein’s long standing and well-earned reputation for delivering one of the most spectacular live shows on the road today.

Standing outside the O2 on a warm Monday night, it’s almost impossible not to notice the very diverse crowd. Everyone’s here from skinheads in black bomber jackets, green combats and jackboots, long haired metal fans, punks, emo’s, indie kids and even hundreds of trendies – all aged between 10 and 60. It seems Rammstein’s appeal crosses all music genres, or maybe it’s a case of sever curiosity.

The night kicks off with the less than impressive Deathstars. Basically a mesh of Marilyn Manson and poor industrial metal. You can see their point, but as singer Andreas Bernadotte struts up and down the stage for 30 minutes, fist raised and army hat firmly perched, you can’t help but notice the fact they have one song and they insist on making a whole show out of it. You wouldn’t mind if the song was actually decent, but there’s very little here to get too excited about. Still, it can’t be easy supporting tonight’s headliners and they manage to complete their set without driving too many away. Now for the big guns!

With Deathstar’s banners and such removed, the stage falls into darkness and as the house lights go off and the screams rise; the PA erupts with industrial sync sounds and the ceiling of the O2 becomes the focal point as a giant gangway begins to lower above the crowd. Smoke blasts from all sides as lights flicker around it. When it’s finally lowered above the crowd’s heads, the band appears at the back of the arena and rise up to the gangways steps on a smaller platform stage. One by one they walk towards the main stage holding torches and flags, the Irish flag gaining the most excitement from the audience. They spread out, lighting giant Olympic stadium style fires on each side. As the intro music cuts out, the band instantly pound into ‘Sonne’, easily their most known hit in this country. Along with the massive lighting display, the song is accompanied by a massive pyro display. The flames àre so hot the heat hits the back of the crowd and sees hundreds of fans pour in from the front, all of them drenched in sweat. This is going to be fun..

‘Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen’ follows hard and the band are well in control. More flames for this, but this time they go off around the drums and just in front of singer Till Lindemann who, as always is unfazed by the wall of death going off around him. ‘Keine Lust’ (Towers of smoke), ‘Sehnsucht’ (pots of smoke/fire at the front of the stage) and ‘Asche Zu Asche’ all follow, each delivering their own unique theatrical display and an ever changing lighting rig and stage backdrops. The heat goes up immensely for their brusing hit, ‘Feuer Frei’ With Till, Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers all donning flame thrower masks and that send to towers of flame into the air during the chorus. For ‘Mutter’ the stage goes green and the band rely on the songs own excellent charm to satisfy the crowd, until the end when Till stands arms stretchered as a shower of sparks falls from the ceiling. ‘Mein Teil’ won this writers highlight of the night, as Keyboardist Christian Lorenz is wheeled out in a giant cooking pot by Till, and placed stage right as the band kick into the song. Towards the end, Till discards his machete microphone and grabs an nearby flame thrower and proceeds to douse the pot with flames…with Christian still inside. Failing to cook Christina, Till swaps the flame thrower for an even larger one and again engulfs the pot in flames, promoting the singed keyboardist to pop out with red sparks exploding from the back of his suit.

Du Riechst So Gut’ (giant twirling sparks) and ‘Links 2 3 4’ (stomping death!) follow before the machine heavy ‘Du Hast’ causes mass eruption from the crowd and further spills towards the back as 12 flame throwers mounted to the lighting rig and stage fire back at each other. How the band don’t drop with the heat or even bat an eyelid is beyond comprehension. It’s an amazing spectacle to say the least though. The band finish the main show with ‘Haifisch’ which sees Christian take the literal plunge and travel out into the crowd in a row boat – I shit you not! Taking a sail over everyone’s heads, the fairly mental keyboardist gets up close and personal with fans, before returning to the stage for the band’s exit. Thanking the audience, Till and the lads disappear under the stage.

Yeah, they’re not done yet. Leaving the crowd with a very rare interaction – not a hope. Rammstein return! Decked out in chains, leather, whips (general Berlin nightlife attire), the band crawl across the re-lowered gangway, whipped all the way as they make their way towards the miniature stage at the back before pounding into ‘Buch Dich’, ‘Mann Gegen Mann’ and ‘Ohne Dich’. After which they walk back to the main stage and continue with ‘Mein Herz Brennt’ (fire cane & fan) which sees a giant industrial style fan lowered from the roof centred under the four incredible round lights that alone make the stage show worth seeing.  With the fan lit up, ‘Amerika’ follows and the stage proceeds to fire confetti all around the venue with towers of smoke whooshing it around. The sing along ‘Ich Will’ brings things near close with towers of sparks exploding everywhere. The band finish and walk off one by one.

With hundreds leaving to catch trains and such, the band return for one final visual onslaught. The sparsely melancholic ‘Engel’ is first and sees Till decked out with wings that open during the performance before fire sparks at the top of each wing, eventually spouting flame thrower style fire into the air. I swear I’m not making this up, wings of fire! And the band bring the night to a rather less serious close, performing ‘Pussy’ (“You’ve got a pussy, I’ve got a dick so what’s the problem”) which sees Till straddles a giant phallus on wheels, rides it up and down the stage spraying the crowd with mountains of….white liquid foam. Amazing finish to an amazing night.

Whether or not Rammstein were expecting it, the sold out crowd was a shock to several people. No-body this writer has spoken to thought they’d manage it in Dublin for their first gig, but they did (if seating wasn’t sold-out I don’t care – standing is where it’s at). With people hailing this show as one the best they’ve ever seen, it will hopefully entice the band to return to these shores in the not too distant future so all our friends can see for themselves what we’re talking about.

Setlist (thanks to Dextrimental  @ Metalsetlists.com

Sonne
Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen
Keine Lust
Sehnsucht
Asche Zu Asche
Feuer Frei!
Mutter
Mein Teil
Du Riechst So Gut
Links 2 3 4
Du Hast
Haifisch
————–
Buch Dich
Mann Gegen Mann
Ohne Dich

————–

Mein Herz Brennt
Amerika
Ich Will
————–
Engel
Pussy

Hellfire()Sounds Review: Shardborne (Aeonian Sequence E.P.)

Posted in EP Review, Hellfire()Sounds : REVIEWS, Music, Special Features with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by Tickets There

As with the IRISH NOISE! Reviews, we’re not limiting ourselves to just random tracks for the Hellfire series. Today for example, we’ve been listening to Shardborne’sAeonian Sequence’ EP which was released last year as a free download or very nicely priced €5 CD. These guys have been around for almost ten years so we won’t treat them as newbies and neither should you. This EP screams experience, a fined craft for traditional Celtic folk metal and a powerful skill and writing very soothing, involved tracks.

Opening with the fantastic ‘B141’, it doesn’t immediately click that these guys are an instrumental band. Unlike some, they don’t go down the old road of basically writing a normal verse/chorus job and just forget to advertise for a singer. B141 is a mix of fast guitars, heavy drumming and swoops, loops ‘n’ changes. This feel is carried on in second track ‘Deimos’ which pushed both the bands lighter side, with soothing brides, un-intruding guitar leads and waves before the mighty backdrop of drums and riffs trounce in; paving the way for the bleak ‘Aeonian Sequence Pt.1 – Societies Collapse’. Metal military drumming, chaos, sings of strength and aggression all pour into one of this track with the odd moment of computer jazz confusion and emptiness with the lead guitars acting as the protagonist and the wall of sound the antagonist. The jazz moments play Charlie Chaplin.

‘Pt.2, Enduring’ carries on the assault with heavier riffs, more poignant guitar leads and even a touch of romance. This isn’t a song, it’s a full blown stage production with characters, stories and emotion. An excellent piece of music from start to finish that could be amazing in a live setting with KISS’s budget. If you haven’t heard them, check out their Soundcloud and download this. Even if you don’t like instrumental music, I can guarantee you’ll hardly notice and by the time you reach Aeonian Sequence Pt.1 & 2, you’ll be sold. Excellent find! Long live Limerick metal!

Review: Reckless Love – Live @ Whelan’s, Dublin (Dec. 2nd 2011)

Posted in Gig Review, INTO-NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2011 by Tickets There

Is there anything better than glam metal? Def Leppard did it best (not open for debate), Guns N’ Roses made it dangerous and Bon Jovi tried to kill it; but 2011 sees a plethora of young bands revitalizing one of music’s most infamous genres. About bloody time!

In the thirty odd years since Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Guns N’ Roses and the likes took that old blues rock n roll, dumped a tonne of eye liner, Jack Daniels and explicit west coast sex into the mix; a lot has changed in the world. Geeks have taken over, bands ware scarves, converse, recycle like Germans and …God help us, Chris Martin and Thom Yorke are even considered rock stars. Don’t panic, there’s hope! Tonight, Finland’s extremely credible successor to Hanoi Rocks; Reckless Love are in Dublin to inject a little sleaze into our cold Irish blood.

Last year the band visited Ireland on their ‘Back To Paradise tour’ in support of their self-titled debut LP. Now they’re back with a new album, ‘Animal Attraction and a jump in venue; going from Crawdaddy to Whelan’s. A pint of the black stuff in hand, hair down; it’s time to rock n roll with openers The Dirty Youth who, if nothing else, manage to deliver a little ‘eazy on the eyes’ warm up. Not implying anything…. While we may not speak for everyone, this concert goer found it difficult to focus on their music right off due to the sight of their lovely lead singer Danni Monroe in short shorts. Yes, Tickets There likes short shorts. So, all’s well and they don’t sound bad either.

Taking the stage shortly after, tonight’s’ headliners easily manage to jump that all important step from opening act to main attraction. Pepe (guitars), Hessu (drums, crowd control) and Jalle (bass) take positions and kick into the group’s latest single, ‘Animal Attraction’. As the slow drums and feedback guitar fill the PA, lead singer Olli Herman slides on stage, teasing the impressive array of young Irish fillies lined up at the front. Despite some worries about Animal Attraction lacking in the balls department, Reckless prove the new material has just as much umpf as their standards, Animal Attraction and following track ‘Speedin’ deliver everything that’s good about the glam scene. Guitars, solos, speed and born-to-be-rock stars. ‘Badass‘ from their début comes next giving all fans the first major rallying point of the night. As calls come from the crowd for him to remove his shirt and a degree of tension from the ladies as he ponders it, Olli endorses the sound man and a few audience members to remove theirs first and start “to have romances together”. Ice firmly broken, let’s go.

The set is mostly taken from their new record with eight tracks getting an airing tonight. Born To Break Your Heart, Animal Attraction’s first single, ‘Hot’ and ‘Fantasy’ all get the band’s special live treatment and deliver a few instantly enjoyable riffs and chorus’s. The band blaze through tonight’s show with professional ease and arena style antics. Every pose, pout and kick are reminiscent of the greats; but revitalized with youthful energy from a band with a long career ahead of them.

Romance bring things back their full fighting harmonic best before the set gets rounded off with new tracks ‘Dirty Dreams’, ‘On The Radio’ and ‘Dance’. With the band fully in form and winning the crowd over with their new material, the return to their debut for the final pounding. ‘Wild Touch’ explodes from the PA like a panther, sounding stronger and more aggressive than any recording could capture. Returning for the encore, the band demand one final roar from the crowd before bringing it home with the cock rock-tastic ‘Beautiful Bomb’ and the anthematic ‘One More Time’. That’s twice Dublin Metal Events have had them over and hopefully they’re the first visits of many. Reckless Love are not a band you want to miss next time.

Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – High Flying Birds

Posted in Album Review, INTO-NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by Tickets There

Reviewer: Brian Mc Caul
Two years have passed since one of Britain’s biggest rock band of the last 30 years imploded in a flurry of flying plums and guitars. Oasis meant a lot of things to a lot of people, but most will admit the quality of albums after those first 2 dipped dramatically. Almost all those classic songs and B-sides were written by guitarist Noel Gallagher before Oasis had a record deal. Songs about youth, good times and escape that connected to the masses through huge choruses, loud guitars and legendary gigs. Liam immediately went on to form Beady Eye with the other members of Oasis while Noel stayed out of the limelight, having nothing more to say on Oasis. This summer Noel announced details of 2 solo albums to be released under his new moniker, “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds”. In 2012 a ‘far out’ collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous will appear, but for now we have the debut album.

What Noel has delivered is 10 tracks of catchy, melodic pop rock. It’s not exactly a radical departure from Oasis. The noisy guitars are gone and Liam’s inimitable vocals too. But this is Noel’s most sing-along album since Morning Glory The addition of banjo, musical saw, female vocals and ‘wine glasses’ show signs of experimentation. Two tracks have actually been online in various formats for a few years. The wonderful “(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine”, with soaring strings, a gospel choir and a guitar solo all merging together. “Stop The Clocks” closes the album with delicate acoustic strumming, before twice breaking into guitars, feedback and noise. It works brilliantly.

The singles ‘The Death Of You And Me’ and ‘AKA…What A life’ have received mixed reactions. ‘The Death Of You And Me’ is uncomfortably similar to Oasis’ ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’, but when the brass section kicks in you have to smile. ‘AKA…What A life’ is the most adventurous song on the album, with a thumping house beat, keyboards, mellotron and bursts of guitar. Noel has released his first dance track and it works fantastically. While  ‘If I Had A Gun’ and ‘Everybody’s On The Run’ are beautiful tracks. They feature a full blown orchestra and choir and it appears Noel is no longer afraid to write loved up lyrics. The chorus line of “Excuse me if I spoke to soon, my eyes have always followed you around the room” is simple but affecting.

Everyone is aware of Noels ‘magpie’ gift for stealing melodies and ideas from past legendary bands and now it’s the turn of The Kinks. The jaunty ‘Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks’ and ‘Dream On’ bounce along aided by some lovely trumpet. This is a more polished gentle affair than Beady Eye’s debut, with much more melody. ‘The Chief’ rings in the second stage of his career with a great album. If he can bring some of the wit and cleverness he shows in his interviews to his classic song writing, there will be even better records to come. Currently outselling some X Factor robot 2-1, Noel has proven that music still needs him.

Review: ASH – Live @ The Academy, Dublin (Oct. 18th 2011)

Posted in Gig Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by Tickets There

Just four months after they tore Whelan’s apart, ASH are back and this time they’ve got an old friend with them. Back in August, fans around the world rejoiced at the news that legendary fourth member; Charlotte Hatherley was joining the band for a one off U.K. & IRE tour to mark the tenth anniversary of their career defining album, Free All Angels. Charlotte amicably parted ways with the group in early 2006 to pursue a successful solo career and the group have carried on as trio ever since, but have on occasion called on the services of Bloc Party’s Russel Lissack for live performances. While Charlotte’s return may only be temporary, fans of the band will agree the group were at their live best with her in the line-up. She adds a quiet coolness, delicate character and shredding guitar to their sound and don’t even mention the harmonies – too good. With drummer Rick McMurray also present and correct after a short absence, the scene is set for the most memorable ASH gig of the last decade.

The night kicks off early with support acts Tieranniesaur and The Future but, no offence to them, there’s only one band people want to see tonight. As the lights go dark, dramatic music and NASA launch commands boom over the PA, ASH take the stage and the crowd explode with excitement. Seeing the four members back together is a dream come to life for those in attendance (and yours truly of course). Obviously delighted with the response, the band immediately delves into Free All Angels and kick off proceedings with Walking Barefoot, followed by Shinning Light and a jaw dropping performance of Burn Baby Burn. Right off the bat it’s clear that the time apart hasn’t hampered the group’s ability to perfectly fuse together and deliver these songs as they should sound. Charlotte’s overwhelming charm hasn’t diminished in any way shape or form since her departure and she still rocks like a motherf**ker on stage. Tim spends the first half of the set competing with the crowd to be heard as every word of every song is sung back to him. Mark and Rick just perfectly round off one of the hardest rockin’ bands this country has ever produced.

Tim pauses for a moment to thank everyone in attendance, ‘re-introduce’ Charlotte and highlight that now the band are about to play songs they haven’t performed in nearly ten years before kicking into Candy, Cherry Bomb, the Rick Mc Murray composed Submission and Someday with the songs sounding as fresh as they did in 2001. As the album continues, Sometimes and There’s A Star shine through with the incredible World Domination rounding off the set. Despite this being the first ever full performance of the record, the band don’t miss a beat and in itself delivered a quality show. But wait, there’s more!. Tim thanks the crowd who are still screaming with delight and announces the band will return in a few minutes to play another full set which sees the audience leap with astonishment and delight.

The band return quickly and fire off with Projects from Nu-Clear Sounds (the band’s first album with Charlotte) before continuing their assault with A Life Less Ordinary (earth shatteringly amazing performance), Star Crossed and Orpheus from the Meltdown album and the classic Wildsurf. There’s also a special performance of Warmer Than Fire which Tim reminisces used to be a set standard in the Free All Angels days before they close off their main set with the rallying Oh Yeah.

Returning to the stage, the band introduce two time Irish air guitar champion Deku Chan for one of the nights stand out performances, Lose Control. Kung Fu Follows sending the mosh pit into chaos and the night is closed with the triumphant Girl From Mars. With that, the band hit their curfew and take a well deserved bow before leaving the stage.

This was without a doubt the greatest ASH performance many have ever seen and it delivered everything any fan could have ever hoped for. Whether Charlotte’s return to the group turns into a permanent situation or not remains to be seen, but for now the group look and sound the best they ever have and this tour is just another reminder of why we love them so much. Fans in the U.K. – prepare to be amazed!

Set-List Available @ Swear I’m Not Paul.com

Mastodon – The Hunter (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2011 by Tickets There

Review by: Brian McCaul

Hard rock heroes Mastodon return with their fifth album, ‘The Hunter’. Named after Brent Hind’s brother who was killed in a hunting accident, it is not the morbid affair you would think. The band have described the album as Like a Really Super-Heavy Led Zeppelin and will make you want to “jump-on-your-bed, get naked, and go streaking”. Having resisted the urge so far to shed some clothing, I can confirm this is Mastodon’s most relaxed and loose recording yet.  Unlike all their previous albums there is no theme or concept, just 13 rocking tracks. Gone too are the long, multi-part 12 minute epics. Almost every track here clocks in at less than 5 minutes.

Gaining more and more fans with every album release, expectations are high. Especially after the success of the stunning ‘Crack The Skye’ album, the bands biggest selling record to date. Tickets There doesn’t think The Hunter is going to bring Mastodon on to mainstream radio the way Metallica’sMetallica’ (Black Album) did. There are no real ‘crossover’ hits like ‘Enter Sandman’ or ‘Nothing Else Matters’, but this is easily the bands most commercial work yet as shown on the first two singles and the opening tracks.

Black Tongue’ rolls in with riffs flying everywhere and crazy drum fills from Brann Dailor. A typically blistering twin guitar solo wraps it up abruptly. ‘Curl Of The burl’ is similarly short and catchy leaving diehard Mastodon fans to moan about the tracks being too poppy and the vocals being too clean. Since when did more melody mean lower quality? It’s a flying start to the album.

‘Blasteroid’ follows with pummeling riffs and the first screaming chorus of “I wanna drink some fucking blood. I wanna break some fucking glass”. As the album reaches its mid-section, things begin to get a bit trippier. “The Hunter” is slower and downbeat for a couple of minutes before another Hind’s squealing guitar solo lifts the track. “Creature Lives” comes in all Pink Floyd with its spacey keyboards and laughter and gentle bass line. The vocals here are clearer than ever before with a huge ‘aaaaah, aaaah, aaaaah’ chorus. Edit out the weird intro and this could make it onto mainstream radio, after midnight though.

“Spectrelight” and “Dry Bone Valley” bring back the fast and furious side of Mastodon… with more melody. Riffs and drums fly from your speakers and you will not be able to resist tuning on the air guitar for the kinetic guitar solos. Standout track and one of Mastodon’s greatest tunes “All The Heavy Lifting” is hard rock heaven. Powerful, catchy with another huge chorus, it rolls on like a steam train.“The Sparrow” brings things to a nice close. It’s dedicated to the wife of the band’s accountant, who recently passed away from stomach cancer; the song’s only lyrics “pursue happiness, with diligence” was her motto. Beginning slow and trippy the track builds, bringing in the riffs half way through. Another amazing guitar solo follows and the track gently winds down to a gentle finish.

So Mastodon has released an album that may divide fans. Those who cry it’s too commercial and the vocals are too clean’. And those who think it simply rocks. I know which side I’m on. Another couple of listens and I may give in to nudity.

JAPE – Ocean of Frequency (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , on September 26, 2011 by Tickets There

Since picking up the Choice Award for their 2008 album, Ritual, Jape have seen a massive rise in their popularity both home and abroad. They’ve spent the last three years playing national and international tours as well as several high profile festival spots at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and many more. Now the band is back with their fourth studio album, Ocean of Frequency and they’re in prime position to make the most of their celebrity as one of Ireland’s leading electro-pioneering pop groups and go all the way.

But do they want to?

Ocean of Frequency is the album Tickets There was anticipating a year ago when the band performed a mini-studio break show in the Button Factory. Sparse, quiet and extremely subdued in almost every way. All in all, a re-design of their classic tranquil sound with little or no attempts made to compete against live classics like ’I Was A Man’, ‘Strike Me Down’ and ‘Floating’ while at the same time it also lacks standout quieter moments like ‘At The Heart of all This Strangeness’, ‘Phil Lynott’ or ‘The Hardest Thing To Do’.

Oddly enough, Jape have chosen not include well received tasters ‘Hands of Fire’ and ‘Lying on a Deathbed’, which surfaced at the start of the summer or ‘The Worry Fades’ that was previewed last year and instead gone all out with a fresh spread for fans to enjoy. The new sound works well on tracks like ‘Please Don’t Turn the Record Off’, ’The Oldest Mind’ and ‘Too Many People’ – the albums opening tracks. However, as the record rolls on it becomes harder and harder to pull real excitement out of it and anyone hoping for a perfect musical assault, like that seen on Ritual, may be in for a let-down. Fans of the older sound will find a lot more to enjoy with songs like ‘You Make The Love’, ‘Scorpio’ and ‘Its Shadow Won’t Make Noise’ adding Jape’s signature writing style to the mix.

Ocean of Frequency is by no means an objectionable record, in fact it perfectly sits in line with the direction Jape initially started off on, but veered away from when Floating became such a hit. Unfortunately though, it lacks a definitive flag ship song to rally around, enjoy and sell it. The band has proven they can go all the way if they want but with Richie Egan’s tendency to keep all eyes focused on the music– maybe this is his way of reverting back to his roots and keep Jape the way he wants it, rather than let fans and popularity dictate the direction his creation should go in. At the end of the day, there’s no arguing with that.

Ocean of Frequency is due release on new label, music/is/for/losers on the 30th September. The official album launch will take place at The Button Factory on Saturday 1 October.