Punk rock lives.
What started in the 1970s with the Ramones and Sex Pistols is alive and well and thriving in Ireland right now.
Young Irish bands are carrying the mantel, and wearing it well.
Thoughtful, angst-filled lyrics are presented with hyper, bombastic guitar licks, low, crunchy bass lines and manic drumming.
It all adds up to unbelievable music.
Here are just three bands to begin with: Hello Casanova, The Minutes and The Vintage Infants.
Hello Casanova (formerly Foreign Affairs)
This trio plays pure, punk rock ear candy — every sweet note of it.
Taking tips from Green Day and Blink 182, the young band from Armagh, Ireland, writes the perfect blend of punk and pop melodies — they are uncompromising – and jam everything into an average of 2:30 to 3 minutes per song.
Matthew Irwin provides clear, crisp vocals to Ethan Williamson’s guitar riffs, with Martin Miller serving up a strong drum beat. The band is currently in search of a full-time bassist.
First formed in 2012, they put out their first song in 2013 and have been writing and performing ever since.
A trio of songs, “Contradiction Fiction,” “Familiar Faces” and “Television” are all straight-ahead from the guts ballsy bites of classic punk rock perfection, leaving you wanting more.
Each song is well-crafted and not a beat sounds out-of-place.
“Stay,” perhaps the one true ballad, is a sweet love song, but even with a gentle start, it drives into a marching drum beat, offering a kind of pleading reassurance.
Look for new music from them on Oct. 23 with the release of “Heartline,” featuring four new tracks: “Television” (already released), “Heartline,” “The Jokes on You” and “Friends.”
Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this band. Get in now before they get massive.
Follow them in Twitter @Hello_Casanova and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hellocasanovaa/.
This trio from Dublin plays full-bore, rock with a punk streak — very old school — and very cool.
A lot of their songs have a very aggressive in-your-face style, a style that suits them well.
“Heartbreaker” is full-throttle rock and roll and “Hold Your Hand” has a deep, sexy, gritty bass line, bordering on heavy punk rock.
A solo version of “Guilt Quilt” featuring just Mark W. Austin on vocals and guitars, is amazing in its simplicity.
Add drummer Shane Kinsella and bassist Tom Cosgrave with Austin on “Cherry Bomb” and you have the total package — brilliant musicianship and a chugging bass and guitar line.
“Supernatural” is hook-filled, guitar-driven rock, building up, breaking it down mid song then building again. A true stunner.
The Minutes will be doing a tour of Ireland starting Sept. 12 at the Gravity Festival, Cahir, with dates through mid-November. Check them on Twitter for more details.
The Vintage Infants
Formed in 2010 in the Sligo/Donegal area of Ireland, this trio crafts solid hard-rocking songs with driving guitar riffs, strong bass lines and aggressive drums.
“Running From You” features well-blended harmonies and rollicking guitar licks. The track is smooth and subtle.
“Where I Belong” starts out gently, before kicking into high gear and taking the listener on a high-octane ride.
“I’m On It” takes an old school bluesy approach, heavy on the bass and hook-laden.
Comprised of Eanna McNulty on bass and lead vocals, Aaron O’Connor on guitar and vocals and Aaron McGloin on drums and vocals, these lads should be going places.
Keep your eye out to find dates to see them live.