Tidal District – Hold The Party Line
Tidal District occasionally share too many similarities to other bands like The Flaws, Interpol and to a lesser extent, Delorentos. Case in point: ‘Don’t Tell The Fire Chief’ in which Noel District sounds somewhere between the inflections of Delorentos’ Ronan Yourell and The Flaws’ Paul Finn. It also displays a stop-start bassline that those aforemented Malahide boys have put to more illustrious use in the past. That tune is only really saved by tune’s latter half – a hypnotic closing minute. As we know already, there are plenty of bands around the country peddling near indistinguishable strains of indie-rock, so a band like Tidal District need something to stand out, to state their case as to why we should be listening to them rather than the others. This 4-track EP isn’t it.
Odi – A Superman
No, One Day International haven’t abbreviated their name! No, the Overseas Development Institute haven’t put out a concept album! ODi is Claire Odlum a singer/songwriter originally from Wexford and now based in Leeds in the UK. This EP is the fruits of a collaboration with Dave Redfearn. The title track was produced by Ken McHugh of Autamata and also features Cora Venus Lunny on Violin/Viola. It has also featured on Today FM as Tony Fenton’s ‘Download of the Day’ and you can hear why. ‘A Superman’ is tune with MOR production values suitable for daytime radio. Lunny’s soaring strings are the defining feature of the track as Odlum tells of “a Superman running through her dreams”. Pleasant. ‘What You Deserve’ has a Gemma Hayes vibe (which is funny as its produced by Hayes’ producer of choice, Karl Odlum – no relative) yet Claire’s voice can’t match Gemma’s breathy vocals. ‘Tears & Wine’ fares better for its emotional narrative and better delivery from Odlum’s voice. It’s not a bad release, but Odlum needs to establish her own footing in the music, lest she be washed over by waves of nonspecific sound.
Subplots – We Carved Our Names In Glass
Much feted on the local music scene, Subplots (formerly Envelope) are a Dublin band and We Carved Our Names In Glass is their second release this year. A 4-track EP release which opens with ‘Tired’ and vocalist Phil Boughton singing about his languid body state. In truth it sounds like something produced by their peers, Halves, which is no bad thing. ‘All the Rats are Overground’ has a spidery, brittle guitar line which is a highlight while ‘Wolves’ finds Broughton singing “Don’t let the wolves in your house and you’ll be fine”.
There’s a sense that these four songs are the first tentative steps for a band that could well create their own realm of atmospheric, dystopian post-rock in the near future. For that to happen, those songs are going to have to be less impenetrable than their current form. Once the dark hues of this EP can be transformed into the polychromatic seam within their grasp, then we’ll have something to shout about.
Distractors – Conversation Killer
These dudes were due to travel to SXSW this year but pulled out at the last moment to concentrate on coming up with some new songs. Distractors ply their trade in a more traditional rock ‘n’ roll vein than the above bands so it’s a lot easy to digest from this double A-side ‘Conversation Killer’/’Poet or Prophet’ what they are and here it is – A rollicking upbeat good time rock ‘n’ roll band. You can catch them supporting Tokyo Police Club tomorrow night (Tues 19th Aug).
Lines Drawing Circles – Lines Drawing Circles EP
Lines Drawing Circles are made up of 3 Dublin guys and 1 French girl. They compare their sound to Nada Surf, The Shins and Radiohead. Press release writing 101: NEVER compare your band to Radiohead. It sets the bar too high and is generally never indicative of the sound of the band being written about as is the case here. Luckily, LDC’s sound is a mixture of taut indie-rock with a smattering of ambient contemplative piano and acoustic touches.
All Star Charge – ASC
Alternative-rock which yearns for placings on the North American college rock charts is what we find on this 3-track promo from this Dublin trio. Easy on the reverb there lads. Hell, The Script can be massive then why can’t ASC do the same for emo-tinged alt-rock across the pond?
Want a review? Send your EPs and Singles to us via our address.