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GREEN MUSIC
Written By: Stone Scruggs
*Click images below to view larger versions.
GREEN MUSIC
Pleasure Beach call their Celtic exuberance “pleasure beats.”

    I got the memo: Saint Patrick's Day is over. Why then am I still seen in green? For those who haven’t received the apposite memo, the last week in April is the Centennial: a century since the Irish Rebellion, EasteRising. It's kind of a big deal. So to emend a cliche, everyone's Irish on (Irish) Independence Day. But given the gravity of the event, we should assume the nationality from March right through next month. A cynic could wryly aver that I'm reaching - any excuse to indulge in  Guinness and Murphy's (and Smithwicks, and Harp, and Irish whiskey...) and jig to rocknreel for not just two weeks but two months. Guilty. But  to take liberties with Morrissey, I've Scottish blood, Irish heart, and tis in the right place. I honour the Emerald Isle for its cultural contribution disproportionate to its size. As Jamaica (Independence Day, btw, August 6), a lot of good music has come from a relatively small place, a brief history of which I exposited here last year (see: The Craic: The Pissed History Of Irish Rock). But as the priority of this column remains new music, the anti nostalgia critical reification of Bob Dylan's "he not busy being born is busy dying", there are green groups that have been picked up by my radar since last year, when the freshest acts I covered were nearly a quarter century old (Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, The Mahones). Others have been reelin’ and rockin’  as long and are worthy of space on this page; this will be alotted in the coming weeks. For now, as we recover from a week (or two) of Saint Practicing and prepare to extend the festivities of All Things Irish, here's a couple of the very latest musical lads and lasses, Paddies and Colleens, to emerge from the emerald:
 
• SPIES
    Probably mastering their first fullength as Paddy Day passes, this aesthetically feckin feckless, guileless (euphemistically speaking for nebbish, nerdy) Dublin quintet's latest EP, Sea Creatures, was recorded early last year. Earnest Irishmen with reverberating, ringing guitars and dramatic vocals - that soaring sound. Sound familiar to U2? Punnily enough, Glas Vegas comes to mind, only they're  Scotsmen, as are similar sounding (vocals excepted) Glaswegians Holy Esque as heard on their new debut At Hopes Ravine. This side of the Atlantic, they seem to have heard Real Estate.  Apparently one is prohibited from getting through a hearticle on Irish rock without mentioning Bono's Irish institution, even incidentally.
 
• PLEASURE BEACH
    More aesthetically, if not aurally, impressive is this sexually integrated band of lasses and (two) lads from Belfast. Jape fans, but we won’t hold it against them; they may too be forgiven for the Arcade Fire comparisons. More charitably, I hear The Naked And Famous, and the three track maxi single they have available so far is yet more Celtic exultant exuberance; they call it "pleasure beats". Fair enough.
    Speaking of fair, and aesthetics, full disclosure: I don't just dig'm ‘cause the front man looks like me. But I looked like him before he was even born.
     Slainte!
 
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