, Goodbye Adebisi Shank (-_-) : my ten favourite songs
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Goodbye Adebisi Shank (-_-) : my ten favourite songs

Today, Adebisi Shank announced that they would be no more after this weekend’s Dublin shows (and another overseas one). The band were a constant in the last seven years for me. Live, they were one of my favourite experiences: quite unlike any other rock band. Vinny in his red mask inebriated on bass, Lar, who got notes and sounds out of a guitar few could match and Mick who kept time and beat among all the madness.

As the band’s announcement makes clear, each member is going on to do different things. The Shank’s time has come to an end but there’s more to come. They’ve already left us with quite a lot. Here are 10 of my favourite songs from the band in chronological order. (-_-)

1. ‘Horse’

(This Is The EP Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2007)

The opening of the band’s debut EP begins with 40 seconds of what sounds like a mule kicking against his masters. Lar gets to show off his intricate and controlled guitargasms which use effects like you may not have heard before and it’s a relentless ride to the five minute mark.


2. ‘Jump Cut’

(This Is The EP Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2007)
The second track off the EP introduced the band’s own particularly funk rock sound and a passage that is about as close as they ever got to post-rock tropes. Audience participation was always at a high with this one thanks to the handclaps and the hard-not-to-join-in “heh heh heh heh wooo” in the middle.


3. ‘You Me’

(This Is The Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2008)

An intro that strangles the air with a heavy dose of instrumental claustrophobia leads to an vocodered song about love (let’s pretend). A cascading guitar roll passage provides the breather and the song picks itself back up again to the finish.


4. ‘Shunk’

(This Is The Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2008)

No robots were harmed in the making of this song but it sounds like they might have. Notes are barely played before they’re put away in favour of the next thrilling sequence.


5. ‘International Dreambeat’

(This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2010)

From my favourite Adebisi Album, ‘International Dreambeat’ is the sound of magic, “the sound of rainbows played on guitars”, drums crashing beautifully around the stuttering non-human mutter in some deep Japanese-inspired (the band toured there a few times) pageantry of celebration.


6. ‘Masi’

(This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2010)

Stadium rock filtered through the minds of three Irish men. Hands in the air and respect to Bono.


7. ‘(-_-)’

(This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2010)

The band’s most gorgeous and unique song – like watching the fauna in Nara as you pass by looking out the window of a speeding train.


8. ‘Europa’

(This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2010)

A song in weird time and meltdown featuring the melodious voice of Villagers’ Conor O’Brien gracing its Eastern vista.


9. ‘Voodoo Vision’

(This Is The Third Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2014)

A live favourite, that cascading guitar sounds like bubblegum that juxtaposes against electro-freaked Daft Punk rock.


10. ‘Big Unit’

(This Is The Third Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, 2014)

The band’s most anthemic song of their career appeared on their just-released third album, ‘Big Unit’ is huge, a big shaking happy vibration of a song. Tellingly, it features the vocal line “we’ll say our goodbyes / to our friends on the other side.”


You can buy all of their releases direct from the band at Bandcamp.

Spotify playlist

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