First off, let me clear one thing up…
They are not edible (but you could compare them to a dirty great big audio churning monster, a fierce and hungry one that inhabits the filth ridden corners of Belfast’s industrial district) and believe me, I’ve tried to munch down on Rory Donaghy before – he was having none of it. He is pure of soul. Solid. Like the snake.
…did I actually just say that?
Like some sugary treat slowly congealing in the kitchen – left untouched by your mother as she’s unsure of exactly how it’s going to take being peeled off the floor – the Donaghy brothers Luke, Rory and Sir John of Quinn have been creating something of a ripened sound over the last year. Has it really been that long in the making? Now we’re not talking MojoFURY here, or spans of a century spent in the studio before music is realised, slowly sharpened to a point before being set loose on the world…
…but Chocolate Love Factory have been banging away at their cake now for time enough.
LD: “The best thing about working on this over the last year was actually recording rough riffs on a phone.”
…and I do remember some hype about iPhone technology and tracking songs, everyone was at it. Except me of course.
RD: “It’s been mostly fun. Watching our progression has been pretty cool. About a year ago, no one knew who we were, but now, we’ve made a few good contacts within the current generation of big bands in Belfast, and influential people like yourself (ED: I swear he said that and not me). Some of these people are the coolest, nicest people I’ve met in my life, and I met them all because I play music.”
It goes without saying that all of this slaving and any progression made has been rightfully of their own accord; on phones, and in studios across the land (working here with the inimitable Mudd Wallace) so you’d expect it to echo its roots – and by fuck it is from the wrong side of the tracks. You couldn’t have it any other way. Once mum’s finished in the kitchen and hears this banging out of your room you’ll be told off quicker than if she’d caught you with the dog, pants down at your ankles, stupid grimace frozen on your face.
The double helping of sexual power rock that this is opens like something out of a Resident Evil soundtrack (the game, not film here now lads) before the music lands on top of you; and boy does it travel once it starts going. Driving repetitive guitars and rapt drums blast down into your head; and they are big drums. In that familiar American rock style that stands on its own two legs within a song and walks around a bit in the middle.
Then there is that hook. Instantly recognisable, wrought with movement, loved and yet at the same time all too short. I want you to go on forever, but that’s why I’m not a musician. We’ve had some really recognisable songs over the last few years here in Belfast, but perhaps this one’s been overlooked – one of those you know but can’t quite place. Shame if so. Let’s hope it gets given ample opportunity to wander out into enough ears at their single launch down the Spring & Airbrake on the 23rd of this month.
RD: “For the single launch we’ve decided to try and put on our biggest, maddest and hopefully best show to date. We’re all very excited. The line-up’s amazing, now all we need are the spectators!”
Dripping with confidence and style, Rory’s voice brings into the music a crushing sinister delight with every not quite cynical but smart lyric. Each one so distinctly drawn and laden with intent that I’m left leaning to listen and trying to move with the music at the same time (stirred into the mix as it is). It draws you in. It is fun. Genuine, big boys playing here now, fun. Not something I’ve heard locally too often. Say, like a budding LaFaro.
Carrying on from Rat Bag into Texty Texty are some cyclic rhythms and statements that sway softer to the touch. Sticking out is that droning lustre which rings so strongly of early Foo Fighters – not quite as open and melodic, but still strong and full of that ‘wall of energy’ that just nips at the synapses. Think car journeys in mad comedy films from the nineties.
Sunglasses on. Hair flung back as the wind flicks around the convertible, the motorway ripping past the protagonists, partners in crime lolling over the side of their car as the camera pans back.
Ultimately, this just rocks. No need to complicate it. It opens as rock and it ends as a ‘slightly’ different type of rock. Is that progressive rock?
Good, listen to it.
…and if you’ve somehow managed to snare a date that with that magical feminine creature that happens to have tattoos, sexy dark hair, and likes to move – get her involved. This music has a purpose, and it is her.