Sep 01 2008
A few times over the years friends have handed me their CD/their brother’s song/their friend’s album/their girlfriend’s music and most (not all) of the time the result is very poor. In one case all of my powers of diplomacy had to be called upon because it was that bad.
Recently however, I was given Chasing the Comfort, a CD from The Juice, a Dun Laoghaire/Bray three piece consist of Andrew Dixon, Niall Murphy and Stu Hennessy. After uploading it to my iPod (I’ve long since abandoned listening to CDs – probably because my CD player is broken), sceptically I pressed play on the first track, Fast, and the opening guitar riff had me hooked. As soon as the lead vocals from Dixon kick in I realise this is very different to any of the other albums I’ve been handed over the years.
The first thing that hits me is the professionalism of the sound. It’s polished. This band has its own sound and it’s damn good. With the second track comes a hint of Tracy Chapman, with a more up-to-date twist. Spanish Thighs doesn’t have the same pop-like grip of the opening track but instead it shows some great song writing skills. This continues through The Problem With Life and the anthemic Take Me Back.
At this point, the album takes another surprising turn. Pimped has a wonderful rhythm throughout that is reminiscent of some traditional Irish tunes. But, once again, this band has added their own edge to it. I can see crowds of people at their gigs singing along to the catchy chorus – “I could still see you, You were fixed on me“. From this song onwards, I began to imagine the band on stage – there is an energy to the second half of the album that makes you want to dance.
There is an influence from Nickleback on Don’t Force It, proving that they are not lying on their MySpace page when they claim their influenced by “ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING”.
If I was to find a negative it might be that the band don’t seem to know what style they want to settle on, but when you hear the desperation-filled love song, City Love, it really doesn’t matter. Variety is the spice and The Juice do not want to be pigeon-holed.