The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Friday, October 13, 2006

The Tides

The Tides are a 3-piece indie-rock band from Magherafelt in Northern Ireland rapidly on the up. They indulge in the sounds of The Verve, Oasis, Kula Shaker, Hendrix and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and for this you get a band with quite a lot of guitar technique, but with enough indie-rock awareness not to overtly flaunt it.

I've read good and bad reviews about this band. They've been criticized for defaulting to strumming and riffing out their songs too often, while those same songs have been praised by one of Northern Ireland's better known radio music presenters as of "the best band in the country". Well, they are not the best band in the country, nor should they be criticized for strumming out songs when it sounds genuinely fitting to do it that way. If anything I'd criticize them for indulging too much in technique at times, but that is a matter of personal preference. As far as this opinion goes, they are a solid good band. I could not understand them being billed as anything less than that. They're not the most original band around, but this is good rock n'roll, and sometimes that's all that matters.

After two independently released EPs, 'The Tides' is 2004 and 'On Our Way' in 2005, they are now taking a break from what has been a few years of rather extensive gigging to focus on completing a new release. Although quite appreciated in Northern Ireland for a few years now, it is only after winning BBC ATL RockSchool earlier this year, that they started to receive more extensive coverage, after which they were featured in most major newspapers across Northern Ireland as well as receiving frequent radio air-play, and have since played a number of festivals in the UK and Ireland, including playing at the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival this weekend in Dublin.

Both EPs can be streamed from their Bebo space, with some tracks from each EP also available to download from their myspace. In 'Happy Homecoming' from their debut EP and 'Just Getting Started' from their second, they have some endearingly soft strum-along numbers not far from Oasis on their more laid-back moments. More characteristic of their sound is 'How Does It Feel', the lead track from their 2005 EP, an anthemic adrenalin-rush number, albeit again with a massive Oasis footprint. Despite a few awfully over-indulgent showings of technique at times on some of their other tracks, this is a band that shines of sold rock n'roll vibe, and when the core of their songs sound this good does it really matter that they don't sound that original?

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