The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hope Is NOISE - APPLAUD FRIENDS... The Comedy Is Over

More often than not, releases from Cork label Rimbaud Records tend to reach beyond the comfort zone of many listeners, a label which proudly pitches itself as a 'slap in the face of public taste'. However, 'Applaud Friends, The Comedy Is Over', the debut album from Hope is Noise, whom have become a favourite among the vibrant Cork scene, is a notable exception, and is an album which has aptly been championed as 'a gem from start to finish'.

A blend of noise and punk melody, influences of early Whipping Boy, Hot Snakes, Idlewild and Fugazi, all the way through to Trail of the Dead can be heard on the release. Angular without being particularly abrasive, anthemic indie-punk-rock melodies dominate over a backbone of quite emphatic songwriting. Described once as 'laced with caustic lyrics of rejection, heartbreak and uplifting revenge', opening track Lions Led By Donkeys sets the tone, but it is Dancing With Johnny Five that perhaps stands tallest here for me, opening on themes of urgency 'and we can talk about it at the airport, and we can write about it in my contract'... it quite soon launches into perhaps the most emphatic chorus of the album 'i'm dancing with johnny five, he asked me was it true'... quite an awesome song, perhaps we should complete a trilogy of Short Circuit movies just so this song can be used as the soundtrack. Continuing the analogies to science fiction celebrity, the album closes with a propulsive punk anthem in I Live With Bruce Banner. Whether this refers to vocalist Dan Breen's personal demons or something else entirely its hard to tell, but regardless it is a fitting psychotic way to take the album a close. 9/10.

Hope is Noise's debut album 'Applaud friends, the comedy is over' is a co-release between Rimbaud Records (RB10) and Squint and Draw Records (SD02) and produced by the legendary Ciaran O'Shea (El Bastardo, Rulers of the Planet, Rest, etc..). The band are currently touring the West Coast of America.

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