Thursday, December 15, 2011

Joe McGrady - Fading Autumn EP

Hear The Track Here

If the name tinkles some familiar bells that's because I reviewed Joe McGrady's last three track EP - The Road To Nowhere (February 2011) - and liked it although with some reservations, probably more of a taste thing than anything Joe was doing wrong. Mind you, like a lot of unsigned music, you will have to devote some time to discovering the tracks. So here we are, almost a year on, and along comes Fading Autumn. It was in fact released in September but - as usual - I've only just managed to whittle my way to it. Life in the fast lane eh?? The change (from the first EP) is immediate and total, firstly because this is a much more rocky approach and secondly extremely well produced.

However, that veneer hasn't harmed the main McGrady ingredient, a catchy and effective song. Living in these septic isles (Ed: I think he meant sceptre’d but you never know) means that you get to know all the regional musical sounds and Ireland (all parts of it) has long been one of the staple musical diets for its natives, and the rest of us. Mind you, when it spits out the likes of Van Morrison and the Undertones, how wrong can it be? The reason I mention this is because I like what Joe McGrady does because of that familiarity with the accents and rhythms, take 1912 (track one) for example. It's a poppy punky piece that could well have come out around the time of punk and been a monster hit, although - for my money - I could have done with hearing more energy from the rhythm guitars. There again, that was the stumbling block with the first EP and - as I said - a taste thing. Nonetheless, as a piece of accessible rock pop, 1912 will find many fans.

As much as I liked Drama Queen (track two) I found myself time and again concentrating on the drums which, to me just didn't sound right. Kinda muffled and inconsistent, enough so that it was noticeable, although probably only to a nerd like me. If you are a regular reader and have developed a taste for bands like Silvertrain, Those Among Us, Cameron Pierce et al then you really should have a listen to Drama Queen because it fits that pop-rock niche so well. Alright brings the set to a close and it is far and away the most out and out rock track on the EP, full of pregnant pauses, clattering drums and power chord heaven. There is no doubt that Joe McGrady writes some wonderful songs, as these EP's amply show, but I still think some work needs to be done with the whole dynamics thing - but that's just me being crabby, you'll probably love it.

Highly Recommended Irish pop rock.

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