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just like a drummer

i wake up with the thunder of your typewriter, every night

Tag Archives: squarehead

Squarehead are a ridiculously good looking band. Let’s just take that as a categorical imperative. Is this a good enough reason to write about them? I think it is. In the paraphrased words of the great Gregory House, why do one’s genetic gifts of brains and talent trump their genetic gift of beauty? Why is it okay for me to tell a girl that her Jack Kerouac t-shirt makes her look like an interesting person (side note: No it doesn’t. It really doesn’t), while yelling ‘BIG ONES’ across the streets of Finglas at a girl with ‘Juicy’ stamped across her arse is only ever deemed ‘socially unacceptable’ by the people who decide these things. There is something odd to be taken from the indignation that calling someone a ride can arouse in people. ‘And, can you talk about the music please?’ As much as I would love to make this a manifesto for superficiality in all its forms, the argument becomes redundant when circumstantial evidence is inspected. Because although total Betties, Squarehead (which is actually spelled with capital letters in odd places) are not just a ridiculously good looking band. They are also a really good one.

Image by Loreana Rush

So in one sense of the word, Squarehead are a trio of rides. And despite my indignation at the fact that our culture forces us to ignore the beauty of young men in at least relatively small trousers, I will persevere with the alternative definition; That Squarehead are a promising, young band of three: Roy Duffy, Ian McFarlane and Ruan Van Vliet. The piece of pop they have presented us with and indeed the maguffin that proved the catalyst for the creation of this post, is their current release, ‘Fake Blood /Mother Nurture’ on 7”.  The two tracks are congruent yet different enough to be interesting. The lyrics are utterly charming and make me feel like I’m remembering a painfully joyous youth of scorned romance that I never had. Despite being laid back it is, too, confrontational; this is joyous, a little bit sad and surprisingly vicious in places. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you feel very comfortable very fast and then gobs in your eyes when you least expect it. Made to be enjoyed, sung along to, performed at summer parties, but also for carefully chosen mixcds and moments when you feel a little more ‘Strangeways…’ than ‘The Queen is Dead’ (Worry not, this sounds nothing like The Smiths)

I had thought about not posting this review because my blog is becoming Popical heavy, and while wanting to use this metaphorical space on the internet for the promotion of the Irish Music Scene (From herein to be known only as ‘The Mission for The Greater Good’), I seem to have latched on to the bumming of a very particular facet of this proposed ‘scene’. Unfortunately for me if not for them, where the isle is concerned the hits keep coming and Squarehead are absolutely no exception.

As a side note they also have ridiculously good t-shirts that I will be spending at least ten minutes this evening trying to figure out how to procure. As for you, do yourself a favour and pop into Tower Records, pick up an apple and mess up the cd displays (I’ve heard it annoys  the punk lad that works there) and get yourself Squarehead’s new 7”. I mean, sure why wouldn’t you?

One word review says: Dynamic



I am a believer in certain fundamental truths, an idiosyncracy that is a little at odds with my personality on a whole. But I believe that when the day comes to a close there are things that remain unmoved, words that sustain their meaning despite the shifting of the polar plates, and feelings that though untangible, cannot be swayed, mutated or poisoned. These fundamental truths are the sum of my core values.

I believe Tom Selleck is a moustachio master.

I believe that milk should never be taken inward from a pint glass.

I believe a lot of things about milk. Mostly that it is ungodly.

I believe that Morrissey is a fallen angel, and I believe that indiepop is underrated.

There is a lot of really cool things about the Irish Music Scene at the moment, ironically capitalised, because in a weird way there is no consistent factor that makes it even feel like a ‘scene’, other than a relatively tangible geographical banding. There are bands like Adebisi Shank who, for me, just make it worth getting out of bed in the morning. There are artists like the previously blogged Villagers that are managing to break beyond the Irish Scene yet feel, at once, an authentic representation of it. For me though, the coolest thing might just be Popical Island.

Popical Island : I want to go to there

An indiepop collective that started somewhere I do not know, Popical Island is every awesome artist and musician in Dublin (and beyond) that I have been listening to on one succulent compilation, boinged and wrapped in the most delicious album art this side of everything Belle and Sebastian ever did, ever. Although there is a vast variety of eclectic acts on the compilation, perhaps the most impressive thing is the overall cohesion of the record, something that is made even more impressive when you think about the fact that the sounds on this album are far from the ones that spring to mind when you think about what’s going on in Dublin right now.

As I’ve said above though, I’m a huge fan of indiepop and twee music, from a childhood obsession with Sarah Records to the twenty two year old’s inability to accept when anything that isn’t The Wave Pictures is prefaced with the statement ‘holy crap, this is the best thing in the world’, so it wasn’t a stretch of my sensibilities to like this compilation. It’s quite difficult then to pick standout tracks, since I want to eat the entire thing with Ballymalloe relish, but because I expect it of myself, if not from others, I will bless you with three;

Land Lovers, ‘Is Nowhere Far Away Anymore’, because it’s immensely crafted, funny and poignant; Pantone247, ‘Maybe Tonight’ because it’s lovely and sad and the best indie songs are the ones that convince you you’re happy only to shred your insides in a grinder; And finally, ‘Mysteries of Life’ by Groom because its pure exhileration, and actually probably my favourite of the three.

For anyone who is reading this and salivating at the thought of handclaps, boys in knitted jumpers and a whole lot of heart, the compilation is streaming over at the Popical Islands Bandcamp for the next week or so, and on July 19th you can catch almost the entirety of the tracklisting manifesting themselves as real life people, on stage in an epic seven hour gigathon, upstairs in Whelans. Festivities commence at 3 and the running order is soon to be announced, so peel your eyes.

The one word review says Hella-Exciting!

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