Saturday, December 13, 2008

10 Classic Irish Albums (5)

ROLLERSKATE SKINNY - Horsedrawn Wishes (1996)

One of the great lost Irish bands, Rollerskate Skinny emerged in the early 90’s with records that garnered much critical acclaim, and though they packed it in after their second album, Horsedrawn Wishes, they still retain a considerable cult following. Their music is an invigorating, hazy, shape-shifting blend of distorted, MBV-like guitar textures (Kevin Shields’ brother Jimi was a drummer in the band for a period), gliding shoegaze washes, power-pop harmonies and melodies that call to mind the Stone Roses.

‘Swingboat Yawning’ and ‘One Thousand Couples’ utilise quiet-loud dynamics with pulverising, warped guitar assaults; ‘Cradle Burns’ is a joyously disorientating pop song, while all the ingredients come to a glorious climax on ‘Speed To My Side’, surely one of the greatest Irish singles ever recorded. They really don’t make them like this anymore: I’ve often said that no one will ever be able to recapture the magic of MBV’s Loveless, but Rollerskate Skinny came pretty damn close.

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