Audible Joes

Irrational Anthems

Written by: MAK on 06/12/2017 13:17:03

Usually, when we think of Irish punk, the first thing that pops to mind is folk punk quirkiness with banjos, violins and tin whistles. However, Audible Joes, do not sound like your typical Irish punk band. Swapping out bagpipes for gritty guitars and heavily melodic hooks, the Emerald Isle quartet released their sophomore full-length album, “Irrational Anthems”, this summer to break the trend on our concepts of what Irish punk is.

We kick off with the title track of the album, an up-tempo song with a street punk rawness to it. The track is laden with a rough distortion, chunky basslines and coarse, throaty vocals that make frontman Michael Stone sound as if he has been swallowing gravel, it’s very reminiscent of The Casualties. The catchiness of the chorus is the more hooking part, the vocal melody makes this feel like it could have been a song by The Distillers; I could easily place Brody Dalle’s voice there.

The follow-up, “For All I Know”, is not quite as upbeat, the mood is darker, the vocals are far more angst-ridden and more viciously shouted through gritted teeth, matching the crunchiness of the guitar work backing him up. “Born Again Cynics” grabs your attention with the intro, starting with washed out riffs that soon erupt with some real oomph once stone shout “TURN IT UP!”. The grittiness remains, yet the melodies seep through and bring back the catch nature that hooked us in during the opener. The Rise Against style grooves and the occasional gang vocals make this a stand out track.

Though the trio of “I Wanna Be Affected” followed by “Speaker Submission” then “Majority Rule” is my favourite section on the release. The former is more of a gruff punk anthem, in the same Ilk of The Burnt Tapes, it’s catchy yet really raw sounding in the process, while “Speaker Submission” is much more of a skate punk, like a grittier Bad Religion. The chorus is just so infectious, balancing out from the rough verse and harder hitting bridge section. The could be Epi-Fat material vibe continues with “Material Rule” as the huge chorus is incredibly reminiscent to Pennywise, from the vocal melody and tone to way its huge gang vocal segment that takes you back to "Bro Hymn”.

The back end of the album tends to flow by, especially as three of the tracks are less than two minutes long, just short and fast aggressive songs to grab our attention, especially with the volatile “Guillotine” that might as well be a Motorhead song with its strong burst of energy, simplistic beats and outright heaviness for a punk song. It almost borderlines hardcore and metal, which sets up “Snakes” perfectly which is pretty much the same, full of aggression and a raucous nature. It’s very 80s American hardcore. Uncharacteristic compared to the rest of the album, “Until I Die” is an acoustic, sombre number that closes the album, somewhat abruptly at that. It’s a weird one that probably could have just been omitted.

This album is nostalgia, just for bands that Audible Joes sound like. A lot of these songs feel like they could have been written by other bands, I.E The Distillers, Motorhead, Pennywise, The Burnt Tapes and Bad Religion as just a few that stuck out to me. At the same time, there is a variety in that mix of bands, and Audible Joes brings a darker edge to their styles. “Irrational Anthems” takes quite a few listens to truly enjoy and to get past that initial “oh they sound like this band”. Worth a listen for any fan of skate or street punk.

Download: I Wanna Be Affected, Speaker Submission, Majority Rule
For The Fans Of: The Casualties, The Distillers, Bad Religion

Release date 14.07.2017
Self Released

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