Sunday, October 26, 2008


It's one of the great tragedies, if not mysteries, of the Irish music scene that so many of the best bands around these parts die premature deaths: just lately we've had the excellent Chalets and the Immediate fall by the wayside, joining the likes of Whipping Boy, Rollerskate Skinny and JJ72 in the 'why did they have to split?' files. It may be an unfair generalisation, but the bands with greater longevity and commercial success tend to be more conservative in outlook (the Frames, Snow Patrol, Bell X1), while more adventurous bands tend not to get due credit for their vision or ambition.

So let's just hope the same fate doesn't befall rapidly-rising Dublin-based band Codes. In the remarkably short time they've been together (they formed in mid-2007) the quartet have clocked up two Irish top 40 singles ('Edith' and 'This is Goodbye') and have just released latest single 'Guided by Ghosts'. On top of that, they've picked up rave reviews across the critical board, which is doubly impressive when you consider how sceptical certain sections of the Irish media are when it comes to domestic music (although it has to be said, they've frequently got good reason to be).

Codes deal in the kind of unashamed, wide-eyed, electronica-influenced indie pop that the word 'soaring' was invented for, going straight for the jugular and not failing to hit the target. Reference points that come to mind are JJ72 (with less of a Joy Division fixation) or Delays (with a bit more grit and muscle) - not just musically but also in terms of singer Daragh Anderson's falsetto vocals. Yet this is the kind of music that is so fresh and vital that it renders references irrelevant: it's quite simply joyous pop music, and their debut album, which they're currently recording in Cardiff, should be very interesting indeed.

In the meantime, 'Guided by Ghosts' is available on iTunes and in HMV now. It's probably the most propulsive, guitar-based track they've released yet, and it possesses the kind of sweeping, grandiose chorus they're quickly becoming renowned for. Highly recommended, here's the video:

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