Subaltern – ‘Black Cat’

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Subaltern are Irish duo, Alex Lawes & Sean Merrigan, who have been making electronic music together for a few years now. 

So far the duo’s journey has seen them play support for Simian Mobile Disco, Felix Martin of Hot Chip and White Collar Boy. Yet in saying that, their back catologue is rather less than extensive, most likely due to a self confessed preference for analogue gear and “doing everything the long way around”. Enough digression. If the duo’s latest track ‘Black Cat’ is anything to go by, they’re on the right path.  ‘Black Cat’ is a whopper 8 minutes plus of mesmerizing, synthesizer-driven dance, not wholly dissimilar to the aforementioned Simian Mobile Disco. The track has been getting repeated attention the past few weeks, it’s absolutely immense. Certainly interested to hear more from Subaltern in the future and no matter how long the wait, if they keep to this level of quality, these two lads can take all the time they like.

You can give ‘Black Cat’ the once over below, and download it for free too. Sounds chaps indeed.

Introducing: Radstewart

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Radstewart are a puntastic four-piece – Chris, Jac, Dylan and Calvin –  from Cardiff (or near Cardiff at least).

Their’s is a wonky and wonderful, ramshackled lo-fi indie adventure, with clever songwriting, often laced with dry-witted lyrics. Radstewart’s sound is something approaching a mixture of Pavement with a touch of Parquet Courts and Pinkerton era Weezer, although one can imagine they’re probably sick to the back teeth of such comparisons. Regardless, it’s not bad company to be in with the latter particularly noticeable on ‘Arabesque Bedouin’. While there’s no doubting many bands have attempted a similar formula with the outcomes varying from the inspired to the woeful. Radstewart have however, got it spot on and found a neat sound, a perfect place between being too tight or too sloppy. Radstewart provide us with some lo-fi indie worthy of a furore and to rejoice in. In short, this stuff is so, so good. 

There are a few choice selections below. If they tickle your fancy, you can ‘name your price’ and download their Whig Crooks & Beer Swindlers EP now, from bandcamp.

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(Video) The Dead Heavys – ‘The New Age of Innocence’

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Since their formation in late 2012, The Dead Heavys have established themselves as one of the brightest Irish indie acts to emerge in recent times.

2013 was a good year all round for the Waterford band with the highlights being; a sold out show in Dublin’s The Village and a slew of festival appearances, including a superlative Electric Picnic performance. The Dead Heavys will be looking to make further waves in 2014 and having kicked off the new year with a brand new single, ‘The New Age of Innocence’, they appear to be doing just that. They’ve certainly not lost any of their characteristic sheen, the new track is big, bright and upbeat, with a sparkling disco inspired kind of groove. Not to mention it’s super catchy and that groove is oh so utterly infectious. Hopefully another productive year for The Dead Heavys is beckoning. For now, you can check ‘The New Age of Innocence’, and it’s sleek Matthew Reilly  & Colm Williamson produced video above.

The single’s out on January 31st & you can pre-order it from iTunes now. The Dead Heavys will celebrate the single’s release with a show in Twisted Pepper, Dublin on Saturday, February 1st (details here). 

The Barry Massive – ‘Wicked Safe’

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Very little information is to be found about The Barry Massive. About all that is known for sure is, this group of noise makers are from Wales, somewhere, possibly Barry but who knows?

What we can deduce from their debut single ‘Wicked Safe’ however, is they have got quite a knack for sharp, snappy lyrics and hammering out a pulse-raising punk rock racket. Clocking in at a pretty lightweight 1 minute 50 seconds, it’s all over rather quickly. Saying that, it’s relative diminutiveness does nothing to hamper this track’s appeal, ‘Wicked Safe’ is a short, sharp blast of punk rock. Hopefully there’s more to come from The Barry Massive and next time we encounter them, information is somewhat less scant.

You can make your own mind up on ‘Wicked Safe’, and check out The Barry Massive’s homemade video as well. 

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Milan Jay – ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying’

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Galway duo John Millane and Joseph Kenny aka Milan Jay, have established a pretty reputable name for themselves with a steady stream of top notch singles in the past few years.

True to form, toward the tail end of last year, Milan Jay unveiled another fine single ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying?’. Driven by a heavy, filthy and distorted bassline, my oh my, this one’s got plenty of oomph! Along with the single’s release comes news that it’s the first to be taken from a forthcoming debut album, which they’re still working on and is due later this year. To say their singles to date have been eclectic would be an understatement, so it’s going to interesting to see what will accompany ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying?’ on the album, and to see how it all pans out together. The album is probably still a while away but till that time arrives we’ve got ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying’ to occupy us.

Stream ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying’  below or purchase it from all the usual digital haunts.

Introducing: Oh Boland

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Oh Boland are a garage rock trio – Niall Murphy, Éanna Mac Donnchadha and Simon McDonagh – from Tuam, Co. Galway.

Formed just over a year ago, the Tuam trio’s sound borrows from an earthy mix of garage rock, indie, pop and some local guitar flavours. It’s rough, ragged and abrasive, yet Oh Boland present an utterly charming and lovable listening experience. Amid all the general abrasiveness of thrashing guitars, thundering basslines and growling vocals; every rumbling note proves their music ever more captivating and palatable, through a combination of sweet melodiousness and unusual off-kilter oddity. Oh Boland have taken up a sizable portion of my musical intake of late, and to put it simply, they are utterly fuckin’ brilliant! No nonsense, no faffing about, just top notch tunes done with style and swagger. This here only scratches the surface of their many virtues and given some of your attention, their music will do the rest of the convincing. Bands of this ilk are relatively scarce in Ireland, which is all the more reason to treasure them so.  

There’s some choice cuts below to set you on your way, and their two excellent EPs, Oh! and Ho!, are available to download free at Bandcamp

Girl Band – ‘Lawman’

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Girl Band. The Dublin band had a relatively quiet 2013 but they’ve kicked off 2014 with Irish, UK and Eurosonic dates, and most importantly a new single. 

‘Lawman’ is a real beast of a track. Over a sprawling six-minute industrial stomp of gut-wrenching and desolate post-punk rock, the ears a battered into submission with a fuzzed and filthy caustic cacophony of sound. The Dublin four piece have rarely been anything but exhilarating, in the flesh or on record, and ‘Lawman’ is in keeping with tradition. In short; this is a stunning tune and it’s good to have them back. 

‘Lawman’, Girl Band’s first ever 7″, is released on January 10th via Any Other City Records on a limited run of 300 records. Turn up the volume and check it below.