Music I discovered today, no.2: Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands

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Music I discovered today, no.2: Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands

As you may have read, I am using this series to talk about music that is brand new to me; not necessarily a new release or a fledgling band. Last week I trawled through my friends lists for bands I hadn't heard of, this week I was reading about Ireland's Choice Music Prize shortlist which aims to find the best Irish release from 2011. As I am Irish I knew most of the acts, and my initial favourites for the prize would be Cashier No.9 or Jape (whose album I reviewed for the 405) but I spotted a couple of names I didn't know on that list. One was Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands so I searched spotify and delved straight into the nominated album 'Golden Syrup'. (There's another album on there called 'You Look Cold' which is credited to Patrick Kelleher only, I will investigate that one later.)

I'm amazed that these guys were never on my radar before. I like to think that I am fairly aware of what is happening in the Irish music scene, and, even worse, they actually played one of the Upset the Rhythm events in the Bussey Building in Peckham last year. This is bad because I'm on UTR's mailing list and I actually went to one of those events. Must try harder!

Anyway, google Patrick and co and you will find a lot of reviews lumping them in with 80s bands like Visage and A Flock of Seagulls, and whilst there is an undoubtedly huge synth-pop influence, these guys are closer in sound to the likes of John Maus, Ariel Pink and Dan Deacon; there is much more of an abrasive edge and psychedelic twist than those lazy '80s comparisons suggest. 'Miracle Candle' (below) is a cracking tune, although in contrast songs like 'Broken Up Now' go into downbeat lo-fi territory, and 'Contact Sports' combines that vibe with a strong melody. I've only listened to the album twice but it has clicked with me immediately. There's an arresting spoken-word style piece called 'I Don't Remember' and the closing track 'Still in School' is a spooky little acoustic song.
If a music prize is good for anything, it's that the shortlist can introduce you to something you have missed.

Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands - Miracle... by BangOn

Previous posts like this:
Music I discovered today, no.1: Idiot Glee

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