Nomadic Rituals – gravestone-heavy doom metal from Belfast
What you may need to know…
01. Purveyors of downtrodden, doomy, slow-crawling filth are Belfast trio Nomadic Rituals.
02. Second full-length album Marking the Day releases next month, on handmade CD (with art-cards) and digital download. An ambitious piece, the LP is a concept record taking on the birth, life and death of the Cosmos, as well as the purpose of humanity. Perfect for summer barbecues.
03. The album is streaming in its entirety in the widget above, and available for digital and physical pre-order via their Bandcamp.
04. The record launches on the day of release, February 17th, with a gig at the Voodoo in Belfast, with support from Cork’s Soothsayer, War Iron, and MAW.
Thoughts: An hour-long odyssey whose heaviness and heft is matched by its scale.
Strangefish – Irish hip-hop superteam from the archives
What you may need to know…
01. Strangefish was/is a collaborative effort between Northern emcee Jee4ce, Belfast beatmaker SertOne, and Limrock cutman(s) Deviant & Naive Ted, operational between 2012 and 2013.
02. This self-titled E.P. was assembled inbetween shiftwork and fits of existential crisis in bedrooms in Liverpool, Dublin and Edinburgh, with ideas and bits flung back and forth over the interwebs.
03. It’s streaming and available for download in the widget above, releasing via Liverpudlian label Fly High Society.
04. The blurb/copy accompanying this record states that this is the “first compilation” from the outfit, implying either more archive material or fresh cuts down the road.
Thoughts: With the recognisable sonic fingerprint of each participant evident, this extended-player provides plenty for Irish hip-hop heads to dig into, while the EP’s digs into psychedelia and playfulness ought to appeal to first-timers.
01. Despite their designation as a quartet, sax-laden spoken-word hardcore outfit Robocobra Quartet call on any of fourteen members for their incendiary live excursions.
02. Having gigged on the regular since 2014, the collective have done the festival grind, including Electric Picnic and Brilliant Corners Jazz fest, as well as having released a limited lathe-cut 7″ via Smalltown America.
03. Streaming above is the band’s debut album in its entirety, Music for All Occasions, recorded in studios and venues around Belfast city.
04. Available now in various formats from their Bandcamp. Having finished the UK/NI swing of their album launch, more UK/IE dates are likely for next year.
Verdict: Dour, downtuned, swaggering post-hardcore as a framework for world-weary spoken word broadsides.
01. Malojian is the brainchild of Belfast man Stevie Scullion, aided on occasion by collaborators Mike Mormecha and Joe McGurgan.
02. New album This Is Nowhere finds Scullion ruminating on middle-life, from parenthood, to marriage to grief, and was overseen by none other than Steve Albini, he of Big Black/Shellac, and the DIY recording gatekeeper behind some of Nirvana, the Breeders, and the Pixies’ finest work.
03. Streaming above is the video for I’ll Be Alright, taken from the record. Video directed by Colm Laverty.
04. Catch him on the road at Whelan’s in Dublin on the 26th, DeBarra’s in Clonakilty on the 27th, Coughlan’s in Cork on the 4th of December, and on the 9th at the Washerwoman in Ballina. Full tour details and more dates here.
Verdict: Scullion’s dichotomy of wringing sunny tunes from sober situations has seemingly met its match in Albini’s barebones recording work.
The late guitarist Rory Gallagher is to be honoured with a new statue outside the Ulster Hall in Belfast, where he performed many times over the years and where there’s already a plaque in his honour.
Gallagher’s birthplace of Ballyshannon in Donegal has a life-sized bronze statue, while Cork where he was raised, named Rory Gallagher Place after him in 1997. There have also been several commissioned street-art tributes, plaques and a bid by citizens to rename the airport after him.
A group of Irish-language speakers have come together in Belfast to organise the inaugural Gaeltacht Quarter 10KM race in the West of the City. The race will kick-off at 9am, Sunday 9th October with all proceeds from the registration fee going directly to the chosen charity TACA, which provides support for the development of Irish Medium Education. Every runner will then have the choice to raise money for their chosen cause, relating to the growth and development of the Irish language and Irish medium education.
01. SKYMAS are a Belfast electronic/rock duo comprised of Martin Corrigan and Nick Todd.
02. Emerging in 2013, the band have slowly been releasing a series of singles that have begun to bring them to the attention of Northern music media, including The Thin Air, who’ve called them “an act that aim straight for the sonic jugular”.
03. Above is streaming audio of the new single, as premiered on TTA’s website.
04. Available for download now via Amazon Music, with another single and attendant live engagements to follow later this year.
VERDICT: Like early Therapy?’s big-beat moments, welded to the grooves, riffs and rhetoric of Nine Inch Nails. For those who are so inclined.