The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ham Sandwich - Words

Dublin based Ham Sandwich, fronted by the dual vocals of Podge McNamee and Niamh Farrell, have been frequently referred to as a treasure from the underground scene in Ireland, with a following of cult-like status to be envied. I picked up their most recent single 'Words' recently.

For those less familiar, what you get is an unlikely dual vocal with a euphoric indie-harmony always veering on chorus, coupled into some strong guitar crunch with influence from the likes of Pavement. There's brushes of The Delgados and Doves here too, some of the eccentricity of The Flaming Lips, the tenderness of Camera Obscura, and a fun touch of the throwaway fun-pop appeal of (eek) Prefab Sprout. More than anything, though, what you get with Ham Sandwich is a rather uniquely lovable pop rock, and something definitely not to be overlooked.

As for 'Words', it’s not their best song to date, that credit I'll still hold out for the brilliantly warm 'Sad Songs', but it is a good one. Actually, 'Words' is insanely euphoric, and such is its repetition that it seems almost like a half-baked concept, rushed out while the idea was still fresh, but that's one if its appeals - it can't but make you smile at its audacity. What hasn't had enough attention from the release however is it's b-side, a beautifully touching indie-ballad on the familiarities of regret in 'Stars'. By the time the fun of the 'Words' has tired with me somewhat, 'Stars' has embraced, this one is quite special, and the reason why the single won't be taking a back seat for a while just yet. Available to stream on their myspace are their three singles 'Sad Songs', 'Words' and 'St Christopher'.

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