Bowie.

11 01 2016

Fuck.

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Bye Bye 2015

31 12 2015

Well 2015….you’ve been an awkward one. While by no means a woeful year, 2015 was a bit stop start for the whole 12 months. Ireland seemed bereft of any real gig excitement this year and news of the passing of the likes of my favourite actor Christopher Lee, wrestlers Dusty Rhodes and Rowdy Roddy Piper and Motorhead’s Lemmy and Philthy Animal Taylor, not to mention the announcement that Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson had cancer just seemed to make the year a bit of a downer. Don’t even get me started on the shocking murders in Paris….

Still, there were highlights. Fleetwood Mac in Dublin was way better than a bunch of drug addled pensioners had any right to be.

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Beach Slang in Manchester re-affirmed their best new band of the decade status during a mega-sweaty gig.

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Finding myself in among a bunch of randy middle aged women at Take That was more fun than it sounds.

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Iron Maiden’s ‘The Book Of Souls’ was more than worth the wait.

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Seeing the Nature Boy Ric Flair in person was an absolute fucking treat.

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And spending evenings reading the liner notes of my Beach Slang records was a blast.

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Thanks to all the bands, promoters, editors, managers and chancers I worked with this year.Here’s to a kickass 2016.

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And finally, here’s my albums, singles and gigs of 2015. Up the Irons.

Albums

Iron Maiden ‘The Book Of Souls’

Beach Slang ‘The Things We Do To Find People Like Us’

Therapy? ‘Disquiet’

Charli XCX ‘Sucker’

Bully ‘Feels Like’

Mutoid Man ‘Bleeder’ 6

Sleater Kinney ‘No Cities To Love’

Kylesa ‘Exhausting Fire’

Fight Like Apes ‘Fight Like Apes’

Best Coast ‘California Nights’

Goatsnake ‘Black Age Blues’

Teenage Time Killers ‘Greatest Hits Vol. 1’

Veruca Salt ‘Ghost Notes’

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes ‘Blossom’

Gallows ‘Desolation Sounds’

Radkey ‘Dark Black Makeup’

Girls Names ‘Arms Around A Vision’

Ash ‘Kablammo!’

Faith No More ‘Sol Invictus’

Man The Machetes ‘Av Nag’

 

Singles

Beach Slang ‘Too Late To Die Young’ (Original Version)

Charli XCX ‘Doin’ It’

Rihanna ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’

Merchandise featuring Dum Dum Girls ‘Red Sun’

Bully ‘Trying’

Demi Lovato ‘Cool For The Summer’

Galants ‘Seventeen’

Little Mix ‘Love Me Like You’

Bitch Falcon ‘Breed’

Frankie and the Heartstrings ‘Think Yourself Lucky’

 

Gigs

Fleetwood Mac, 3Arena Dublin

Beach Slang, Tiger Lounge Manchester

Sleater Kinney, Vicar Street Dublin

Mutoid Man, Voodoo, Belfast

Therapy?, Button Factory Dublin

 





MY METAL HAMMER TOP 20 LPs OF 2015

30 12 2015

…And now, the end is near…….

Here’s my top 20 metal/rock albums of 2015 which I submitted for the annual critics’ poll in the Crimbo Metal Hammer. Great to see the Maiden album declared the overall winner. Up the fucking Irons!

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Albums of 2015 (Edwin McFee)

Iron Maiden ‘The Book Of Souls’

Therapy? ‘Disquiet’

Mutoid Man ‘Bleeder’

Kylesa ‘Exhausting Fire’

Goatsnake ‘Black Age Blues’

Teenage Time Killers ‘Greatest Hits Vol. 1’

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes ‘Blossom’

Gallows ‘Desolation Sounds’

Radkey ‘Dark Black Makeup’

Faith No More ‘Sol Invictus’

Man The Machetes ‘Av Nag’

The Sword ‘High Country’

Monster Magnet ‘Cobras & Fire (The Mastermind Redux)’

Clutch ‘Psychic Warfare’

Sabbath Assembly ‘Sabbath Assembly’

High On Fire ‘Luminiferous’

KEN Mode ‘Success’

Agnostic Front ‘The American Dream Died’

And So I Watch You From Afar ‘Heirs’

Poison Idea ‘Confuse & Conquer’

 





Joe

22 12 2015

Codladh sámh

 

 

 

 





METAL HAMMER REVIEW: MONSTER MAGNET

16 11 2015

Here’s a reprint of my review of the new Monster Magnet opus that ran in Metal Hammer.

MONSTER MAGNET

COBRAS AND FIRE (THE MASTERMIND REDUX)

NAPALM RECORDS

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Inspired by the creative success of their reboot of Last Patrol (which they re-named Milking The Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol) Monster Magnet have decided to give 2010’s Mastermind a makeover too. Now dubbed Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux) Dave Wyndorf and Co. have transformed the original music, often beyond all recognition, focusing on isolated themes and fragments to create a much more expansive and ultimately enjoyable listening experience. A darker and dirtier record compared to its classic rock-flavoured predecessor, sitars and organs augment the Space Lord’s riffs, adding energy and excitement to the likes of Watch Me Fade (which is one of the band’s catchiest efforts to date). Hallucination Bomb is a particular highlight and the cinematic, string-swathed offering is now like a soundtrack from a cosmic spaghetti western, while old school fans will love their fuzzed up cover of the Temptations’ Ball Of Confusion which tips its cap to Blue Cheer’s version of Summertime Blues and features backing vocals from Monster Magnet co-founder/Rib Eye Bros. frontman Tim Cronin. [7]

EDWIN McFEE





HOT PRESS ALBUM REVIEW: BEACH SLANG

14 10 2015

Here’s a reprint of my Hot Press review of the stellar Beach Slang album.

BEACH SLANG

The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

Big Scary Monsters

9/10

KEY TRACK: ‘Ride The Wild Haze’

PHILLY FOUR-PIECE UNLEASH PHENOMENAL DEBUT.

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Every once in a while a group comes along that seem hell-bent on killing you with thrills. Philadelphia’s Beach Slang are once such band and their debut will make you thank whatever deity you subscribe to for the invention of a repeat button. Marrying romantic words with punk rock and indie guitars, they follow in the tradition of the Replacements, the Smiths and the Gaslight Anthem and make music you can get lost in for hours.

Wilder and more like their incendiary live shows than their previous EP’s, the ten track opus is a short but oh so sweet effort brimming with lyrics that will be inked on the insides of school-books and the outsides of human bodies for years to come. The thunderous ‘Ride The Wild Haze’ is a particular stand-out on an album full of highlights and their frontman James Alex sounds like a future superstar when he sings “I feel most alive when I’m listening/To every record that hits harder than the pain.” The string-laden, acoustic lullaby ‘Too Late To Die Young’ and fuzz-laden ‘Dirty Lights’ also skilfully show they know how to write top pop tunes too and help make the LP one of the best debuts of the decade.

OCT 30

EDWIN McFEE





METAL HAMMER REVIEW

3 09 2015

Here’s a reprint of my review of the awesome new Kylesa album that ran in Metal Hammer.

KYLESA

EXHAUSTING FIRE

SEASON OF MIST

Savannah sludge merchants Kylesa dive further down the rabbit hole for their seventh record Exhausting Fire. Adopting the theme of rebuilding after a particularly gruelling tour drained their batteries, the opus marks another bold stride forward sonically, whilst also nodding to their past. Continuing the trend started with 2013’s Ultraviolet, guitarist Laura Pleasants does most of the heavy lifting in terms of vocals and it’s their most layered and melodic offering yet which explores and expands upon their 80’s goth, space rock and psych influences yet still remaining thunderously heavy. The aptly named Crusher kicks things off with a bang marrying a chugging, doom-laden riff with hypnotic vocals and from there the bass-driven, Banshees-steeped Falling, the mesmerizing, mainstream-bothering, shoegaze informed Moving Day and the anthemic Lost And Confused,which features a badass riff and otherworldly backing vox, all impress. Though it is slightly front-loaded, Exhausting Fire is an incendiary album full of just the right amount of old school thrills (Shaping The Southern Sky) and experimentation (Night Drive) to delight and excite fans old and new. [8]

EDWIN McFEE








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