By Kristi Kates
Most modern rock fans are pretty familiar with great Irish bands like U2,
Snow Patrol, The Pogues, The Frames, and The Cranberries.
But each year brings a crop of brand new Irish bands, whether theyre
musicians who have been laboring at their craft well under the radar for
quite some time, or those who seem to have popped up out of nowhere. And
2011s no exception - check out this years shortlist of what we think are
some of the coolest Irish bands around.
Hailing from Terenure, Dublin, Ireland, lead singer Danny OReilly and
crews 2009 album, Tony Was an Ex-Con, was recorded in Cornwall with John
Cornfield, but is now sharing its uber-catchy crop of songs a lot farther
afield. Formed when the bandmates were 15, the group began their career as
Kiros, but then decided to name themselves after the Corona typewriter,
perhaps a nod to their snappy, deft lyrics, Gary Lightbody-esque vocals,
and percussive, steady beats.
LISTEN FIRST TO: Wont Leave You Alone, Listen Dear
Dublin, Irelands pop-rockers The Script have heard (seen?) their songs
included in a plethora of TV shows and movies, including The Ghost
Whisperer, Eastenders, and 90210. But while those are great coups, its
the songs themselves that matter, especially those from their brand-new
album, Science and Faith. Blending emotional, heart-on-sleeve lyrics,
vocals that resonate between fiddle and maudlin violin, and an
energetic live presence, theyre finally starting to get U.S. notice.
LISTEN FIRST TO: Breakeven, Live Like Were Dying
Taking a detour from the somewhat typical indie-rock/indie-pop thats
prevalent among a lot of Irish export bands right now, Malahide, County
Dublins Director work their songs more along the art-rock genre, with
some of their more dim, moody songs reminiscent of The Smiths, and others
recollecting the sharp, white-room sounds of bands like Interpol and Wire.
While stateside success has eluded them to date, those in the know have
already picked up their most recent album, Ill Wait for Sound.
LISTEN FIRST TO: Sing It Without a Tune, Reconnect
Hailing from Mullingar in Irelands County Westmeath, Niall, Dec, Justin,
Anthony, and Aiden have opened for the likes of Oasis and Kaiser Chiefs,
have snagged several awards, and hit platinum status for their music
overseas - but theyve made barely a dent here. Its a mystery why, as The
Blizzards music is the kind of catchy indie-pop that radio adores. The
secondary mystery is where the bands been, as they reportedly went on
hiatus a year ago, and havent been heard from since. Fortunately, you can
still buy their albums.
LISTEN FIRST TO: Trouble, Buy It Sell It
THE DUCKWORTH LEWIS METHOD
What do you get when you bring together The Divine Comedys Neil Hannon
and Pugwashs Thomas Walsh? Why, a new side project band named after a
cricketing term, natch. Although theyve only released one album to date
- a theme album about (what else?) cricket - its a wildly entertaining
concept set thats as much show tunes as it is alterna-pop. As a bonus,
Duckworth Lewis Method listeners will also get to hear guest spots from
the likes of Matt Berry and Alexander Armstrong. Now thats first class.
LISTEN FIRST TO: Test Match Special, The Age of Revolution
Yet another Dublin band (must be something musical in the water there ),
Delorentos lean more towards alternative rock than their more indie-pop
cohorts, with opening spots for The Coral, Arctic Monkeys, and Supergrass
under their collective band belt. With choppy, guitar-based tunes and
loads of hooky turnarounds and harmonies, theyre kind of a Clash/Pixies
hybrid, if heavier on the post-punk influences and less so on the
Pixies-esque oddities. Listen closely, and youll get an earful of the
bands subtle political jabs, too.
LISTEN FIRST TO: Stop, Eustace Street