On a three-band bill tonight, we see relative smallfry Pranks take the stage first. Both from Roscommon, the paired talent of Gearoid Connaughton and Micheál Shiel pull some large chunks of grunge and rock and fire them out to the audience.
I say small fry, but these guys are gonna be gigantic. You gotta start somewhere right? What’s most beautiful here is the simplicity of their chord arrangement. Guitarist/vocalist Shiel has some serious skill in the tripple-whammy department, encompassing very impressive singing, playing, and pedal-board talent using stored backing tracks to augment their grungey, rock n’ roll-infused groove. Their new song ‘Flares’ is so simply put together, anybody could have done it. But nobody else did. Why reinvent the wheel? All you hotshot shredders and drum monsters out there; take heed – there’s not always a need for the fastest, and heaviest: do the basics first, and get them right. Then you might be worthy to lace Pranks’ boots because they’re on a rocket to the top. Their debut EP Pranks EP, has been on release since July 2015 and I strongly advise you to get listening. 4.5/5
Following closely behind are instrumental oddballs Megacone. Ross Kelly, Podge Murray Conor Callan, Bala Blake, and Nimai Blake begin their setlisrt as a 5-piece on three guitars, a bass, and a drumkit. Twiddling their way through their evening, it’s always mesmerising to observe the pace of their change in the middle of their songs. The structure appeals only to them, and you’re left scratching your head thinking ‘that doesn’t souind right’ But it does. It’s like watching Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Flea and Chad Smith have a jam session.
Megacone exercise in spades what others take years to find – percussive synchronicity. They know what part of the instrument makes what noise at what time, and they blend their talents together to make a superb sounding cacophony of musical pleasure. ‘Dance of the Sand Lizard’ showcases their extreme approach to instrumentality where there aren’t many bands in Ireland doing just that. I can’t keep track of shred solos, dive bombs or anything like that, because each axeman is a virtuoso on his own. You can appreciate the amount of hard work that Megacone have put into their songs and it is another testament to the work rate that goes into their overall participation of the underground rock/metal/alternative scene. Top stuff as always! 4/5
Double Experience must feel like they landed on their feet here. Originally billed to play support to Lionize, a series of fortunate events catapulted them to the front lines. The Canadian three-piece welcome one and all to another Irish get-together. Their style of playing is not unlike Fallout Boy or a bit of Dookie-esque Green Day, but they fire in a few cult favourites like the Imperial march, and a metal version of the theme tune from Game of Thrones. And speaking of cult, there is a very welcome (and very awesome), cover version of Blue Oyster Cult’s adage to the King of Monsters, ‘Godzilla’. The audience duly participates as everyone knows the tune in play, amidst the clean and dirty grooves shovelled out to us here at Sin É. Another cover beautifully delivered is Rush‘s ‘Tom Sawyer’. Not too many pick that one out but they enjoy it anyway.
Blending old and new together suits their persona, as there is an understanding that you can chuck a few classics out and they will be lapped up if the mood is right. The mood was perfect and the latent mosh-pit on their outtro ‘Impasse’, ‘Exposure, exposure’ and their encore ‘Gambit’ was proof enough of that. 4/5
Who the Hell
Imperial March (Horror Beyond Imagination)
Godzilla (Blue Oyster Cult cover)
The Glimmer Shot
AAA (Game of Thrones Medley)
Tom Sawyer (Rush cover)