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Giddy Dubliners serve up untamed instrumental rock...with vocals.
Celina Murphy, 31 Mar 2010
With debut albums from the likes of Villagers, O Emperor and Funeral Suits heading our way, 2010 was always going to be a great year for Irish music. Imagine my rapture then when, quite literally from nowhere, along hops a shiny new band and lands a hunk of fantastically crazy rock right into my lap…for free. It’s like waiting for the bus only to have your mate show up and tow you home in a VW camper.
A band born not five months ago, Dublin-based foursome The Cast Of Cheers didn’t fancy waiting around to release debut Chariot to the world, opting instead to make the 10-tracker available as a free download on music publishing website Bandcamp (it’s available from thecastofcheers.bandcamp.com) – a rather daring move I won’t be dwelling on, except to say that I would have paid all kinds of money for tunes this good.
Chariot is plainly not an album to sit on. From the head-spinning opening chimes of ‘Goose’ to the distressed but lovely ‘If You Love Her/ Don’t Let Her Go’ refrain that closes out final track ‘Glitter’, it’s a veritable powerhouse of a record. At 33 minutes long, there’s no room for thinking, and not a moment of drag. Just frantic, exploratory instrumental rock…with vocals, Thankfully, the verse-chorus-verse format is but a dot on the horizon to these young innovators. For example, on three-minute long ‘Derp’, the impassioned crooning only kicks in for the last 40 seconds and the song’s all the more exciting for it.
Amid steady drums and spazz guitar, Conor Adams’ vocals veer from clean and quivering through breathy and filthy to full-on strained shrieking, yet always delivered with an infectious urgency. Songwise, ‘Tip The Can’ and ‘Autoshottie’ are furiously clever while ‘Deceptapunk’ and ‘I Am Lion’ carry sweeping melodic underbellies, the sporadic musicianship calling to mind the likes of White Denim, Battles and, in their most inspired moments, Foals.
If you haven’t already guessed, there’s very little to fault with this album. A sizeable group of people won’t appreciate its messy and unrestrained energy, but frankly, I have absolutely nothing to say to those individuals. A record that’s not only skillfully formed, but significantly enterprising, Chariot is in a race all its own.