Elastic Sleep at The Workman’s Club – Review
Ireland’s dream pop and shoegazing scene is an exciting one. While there are only a handful of seemingly active bands, the quality is rather sublime. With the likes of Girl Band paving the way for a more alternative perspective, there are more and more of these gems emerging all the time. Perhaps the most fresh and ethereal outfit to arise in recent times, cork based Elastic Sleep bring their sonic soundscapes to The Workman’s.
Dublin’s Segrasso are the opening act, who impress with their simplistic and deeply melodic blend of noise and gaze. This year saw them release the wonderful Too Late and No EP, and a string of notable live performances have seen them go from strength to strength. ‘Cell’ is the set highlight and closer, featuring an encapsulating coda with some charming choreography to boot. These are ones to keep an eye on without a doubt.
The main act take the stage, and straight away launch into the newly released ‘No Hozizon’, a classic shoegaze sounding tune with eerily beautiful synthesisers in the verse and a huge swirling guitar sound in the chorus. The split vocals of Levis and Somers are reminiscent of some of the great partnerships of old such as My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive to be sure.
While classic influences are evident, it’s quickly established that the band are here to deliver their own modern take on the genre. The 2014 single ‘Slip’ is dirty and nasty and goes down a treat. Mixing the dream pop elements with a gritty and almost grungy sound is a perfect combination, and is done even more so in the almost Nine Inch Nails sounding ‘Sway’, delivered with manic aggression.
‘Leave You’ is a hauntingly beautiful track from the eponymous EP, and is a perfect example of the band’s ability to write a brilliant pop song all while coating it in delicious amounts of reverb and distortion. Now getting a taster of some future releases, there is a more traditional dream pop tone about them. Their sound now seeming to tighten up and be more melodically reliant sees axe man Chris Somers take the lead a bit more. The chorus lyric of ‘Everyday feels like I’m dying’ is a beautifully delivered one in a new tune over some ethereal guitar lines and harmonies.
Now finishing up the set, the older ‘Deep and Blue’ showcases Levis’ raw vocal talent and ability to drive a song without much to work with. Some more than impressive vocal looping goes down phenomenally, and leads into the set highlight, ‘Violent Green’. Proving as the penultimate track of the night, the ever familiar swirly guitars and soft vocals in the verse lead to a monster sounding coda of fuzzy bass, ear shattering drums and piercing leads. Probably their most mosh worthy song, the energy levels sky rocket for this massive performance. Ending in a huge wall of noise, the band seem to finally physically voice their energy, and the crowd respond in kind.
Despite a few mixing issues during the set, the audience are resoundingly pleased to say the least. It’s terribly exciting to be able to see a band so clearly destined for greatness play to such an intimate crowd. The old songs still sound amazing, and the new ones somehow make them seem weak in comparison. The next release by this dream band is going to be absolutely huge.