Autre Monde are a new band formed from a lot of Dublin-based indie pop bands associated with Popical Island, which is currently in hibernation mode.
Featuring Paddy Hanna on vocals, Mark Chester on guitar (Ginnels), Padraig Cooney on bass (Skelocrats, Tieranniesaur) and Eoghan O’Brien on drums (No Monster Club), their new band is inspired by “an early Brian Eno, John Cale plus post-punk kind of seam,” with references to ESG, Television, Suicide, The Slits and Pere Ubu.
The band’s first song, recorded with Daniel Fox of Girl Band, ‘Customs’ is a delight of loose rock proportions. In other words, it’s a lovely jam.
Bobby Aherne aka No Monster Club is back with his lo-fi indie project No Monster Club and he’s set himself a goal of 2017 being the year of the NMC Encyclopedia (he’s already written an actual book).
So all the songs will go two at a time from A-Z. Last month he released the Aardvark – Blessing EP and this month Blimp – Casino – two brand new songs on Bandcamp leading with the bopping brightness of ‘You Only Dance’.
Now, Daniel Martin has put together a new video for the song which “follows the journey of the song since its release, from house shows to festivals, via rock clubs and dive bars”. Along the way, No Monster Club swells and shrinks in size and personnel.
Filmed between 2014 and 2016 in Whelan’s, BelloBar, Birthdays, Knockanstockan, Roisin Dubh, Sweeney’s, The R.A.G.E., The Pop Inn, The Academy, Castlepalooza, Pine Lodge, The Ashdale Living Room, The Button Factory & Connolly’s of Leap.
As a nice bit of promotional synergy, Bobby Aherne has a new video for the album track ‘The Loneliest Master’ by Giles Brody and Conor O’Toole featuring Owen Colgan (Buzz’ from Hardy Bucks) centred on Bobby finding out he has a son, discovering his skills in the thumb wrestling arena at Royal Thumble and using his skills to pay a child support bill. Normal Tuesday stuff.
People Are Weird, his latest album is chock full of them, making it his most accessible work yet and an album that feels like a progression in that Aherne has nailed the catchiness in a distilled songwriting style that moves the music he makes into a wider territory, and he’s done it with his humorous character intact and a cleaner production throughout (with mastering by his bandmate Mark Chester).
It’s there in the opening track of ‘Can’t Get Enough Of That Hippy Dippy Bullshit’, a bright march into tight lo-fi pop track ‘Arms Across America’ which leads to a less-than two minute keyboard-pop stomp of ‘The Severed Head’ which hurtles into perhaps, the best song Aherne has ever written ‘I’ve Retired’, an ultra-catchy fuzz-pop wonder and the most celebatory song about ending a music career you’re likely to hear.
“You got to treat this life as a laugh,” goes ‘Winning Streak’, a credo which Aherne puts across in his fun songs and it’s something which is felt on ‘A Bad Example’ a song which addresses the often traumatic school-going experience with a classic rock’n’roll rhythm or ‘Late Bloomers’ a psychedelic bounce track which suggests that people don’t always hit their potential early on in life, which is a nice way to say that this is Aherne’s best No Monster Club release so far. People are weird and also, great.
2015 is time for Bobby to release a new solo No Monster Club record. It’s called People Are Weird and is out on January 27th on Mirror Universe. You might have heard ‘Arms Across America’ last month, well, here’s a similar bockety indie-pop track with a catchy chorus called ‘I’m Retired’ from the album.
It’s Eurovision week as I’m sure you know from the talk of exuberant Icelandics, mother-loving Belgians, Latvians singing about baking cakes and the French refusing to sing in English. Ireland are Eurovision champions basically, because we’ve won it so many times (seven) that there’s a classic Irish Eurovision songbook waiting to be plundered.
Which is what No Monster Club have done, 20 years later to Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington’s rendition of the Brendan Graham song ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids’, the winner in 1994.
No Monster Club have shows coming up in Dublin and England supporting The Polyphonic Spree as per below.
Dublin indie-rock trio No Monster Club have been bouncing along at a zippy pace like an puppy dog making an excited din of noise for the last few years. Their last album proper Dublin was proper good, not counting the 46-track cassette collection of Posthumous Hits and appearances on Popical Island’s The Community Games split albums.
Other highlights include the psych bright garage-rock of ‘Happy Days’, the slightly Vampire Weekend-esque ‘I Want to Be Brainwashed’ and the sunny ‘Damn The Weather’. Get the album on Download or Cassette on Bandcamp.
Fully Trained Cavemen
(I Think You Could Only Get Away With This Carry On When You’re In) The Sun
No Monster Club’s ode to the last three glorious weeks of sunshine (hereafter known as the rare Irish summer of 2013) ‘(I Think You Could Get Away With This Carry On When You’re In) The Sun’. This track, ‘Damn The Weather’ (a pre-emptive diss track?) and ‘La La Land’ (the one with the dog in the car) will feature on a new album coming out soon.
Meanwhile, the band are playing with The Polyphonic Spree in London on August 6th and have a US tour coming up. Watch a 20 minute video of the band performing songs for Film 13 in my hometown of Newbridge.
Apart from being one of the best Irish-centric compilation titles I’ve heard in ages, The Community Games is a compilation of 4 EPs from 4 bands associated with the label, Cave Ghosts, Ginnels, Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club who share members, a rehearsal room and equipment between them.
Each band gets three songs each on a 12″ release that’s out on April 5th. There’ll be 10 collectible covers to get each with a shot of a different member on the front. There’s a launch gig on Saturday April 13th, upstairs in Whelan’s, €5 or €10 with the LP. Bargain.
Have a listen to a track each from the bands and get to know the 10 people involved in a shitty sitcom-style TV intro:
For the last two years, January has been brightened up by the appearance of Quompilation, a compilation from Quarter Inch Collective. The premise is simple: bands from Ireland cover their favourite music of the last year. That idea has led to great covers and odd juxtapositions: No Monster Club covering Jedward, Simon Bird covering Kavinsky’s ‘Nightcall’ song from the film Drive, Cloud Castle Lake covering Kanye and Girl Band covering The Chemical Brothers.
For Quompilation #3, some of the same names are back; Girl Band tackle Blawan’s dark techno anthem ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?’, Turning Down Sex go hell for leather on Dublin’s No Spill Blood. Ginola thrash up Katie Kim’s ‘Heavy Lightning’, Kathi Burke covers Frank Ocean, Spilly Walker take on Moodyman and as-featured last week, Cloud Castle Lake cover Jai Paul.
Listen to the whole thing below. A launch night in The Workman’s Club, Dublin happens this Friday February 1st featuring most of the 14 bands and the album will be available for download and cassette that date.