My favourite music is always based on moods – an album or a piece of music that can take you somewhere else and make you think about how it was crafted. The process is meant to be a journey and a lot of hard work needs to be put into it.
Adebisi Shank’s This is the Second Album of a band called Adebisi Shank has all these qaulities and is my favourite Irish album right now. I feel it’s better for me to do my current favourite Irish album because again, this is the mood I’m in right now.
The first song ‘International Dreambeat’ is a great start to the album. Drummer Michael Roe stepping up the bat. Being accompanied by electronics provided by Vincent McGreith. Vincent (aka The Vinny Club) had come to my attention with a track called ‘Tech Noir Grand Re-opening’.
The video was done by Paul Mahon (aka Geppetto). This was in fact the reason why I got in touch with Paul Mahon to work on some of my own visuals. Then entering like some crazed Brian May, Larry Kaye introduces himself. Kaye puts down great and wildly new and fresh guitar sounds. Mastering his art through a mix of natural ability and the use of his mysterious pedals.
‘Masa’ starts with just that. Larry Kaye’s guitars on this song have a great mix in feel on Fugazi, Big Black, Nomeansno and early AC/DC. Roe kicks in with a stomping groove. Roe is a hard hitting drummer in the vein of Dave Grohl or Joe Castillo (Queens of The Stone Age).
‘Genki Shank’ opens with a groove very like something on Fugazi’s Repeater. The vocoder vocals blended with the guitars and synths turn this into more of a futuristic punk rock stomp. ‘Micromachines’ again has a Nomeansno-style groove, but as the track progresses they make it their own with those lovely break and melodic riffs, creating a tapestry of colour.
(- . -) is a beautiful piece, which is one of the reasons why this album really works. There is a great blend of styles that makes it hard to pin down any one style. Again, this is what I call mood-based music. It’s all about the feel. There is something beautiful about blending and meshing beats and bleeps with live playing and orchestration.
‘Logdrum’ is like something Steve Reich would have produced if he liked to dance. Roe rocks out a drum ‘n’ bass style beat accompanied by Kaye’s electronic-influenced guitar playing. McGreith’s bass playing is great throughout the album. He seems to have a clear idea of the space needed between live and electronic sounds. Lovely electro break at the end. A Fourtet feel to it.
Roe starts ‘Bones’ like an old school rockabilly track. Lovely sounding snares. There’s also a rock feel to it, like something from Free or of that genre. The angular guitar playing and the walking synth bass lines really make it transform into some new and unique.
‘Frunk’ has this Big Black feel to it. Again they break away from any constrains using synths like the way Pete Townsend used on ‘Baba Riley’. They have a sense of how to change the direction of a piece without the use of vocals. Great drums on this track playing around 6/8 time signature.
‘Europe’ has this sense of motion – the imagery of a band on tour in Europe comes to mind. The drums have a steady driving pace, the guitars and synths with the sense of an exploration. Like most of the tracks on this album, the builds and breaks are very clever and perfectly timed.
‘Century City’ has a late eighties feel; full of breaks like The Minutemen were so good at doing. It then changes into this souped up, cool sounded but kinda malfunctioning computer game on its last legs, jamming with the band in their underground rehearsal space. The album is full of those little changes that will keep on demanding your attention.
This is a truly accomplished album from a band that have been working hard for a long time crafting their own sound. Looking forward to the next.
Rarely Seen Above Ground is Jeremy Hickey, a Kilkenny cat who knows his way around the pots and pans. His brilliant and percussion-led debut album, Organic Sampler was nominated for the Choice Music Award and he flexed his musical muscles with the excellent follow-up, Be It Right Or Wrong. One of this country’s best live acts, RSAG plays The Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, on Tuesday March 6, 11pm.