O Emperor At The Sugar Club – Review & Photos
The Sugar Club was dimly lit, with the usual handful of fairy lights cascading around the screen. There was an air of enthusiasm lingering in the venue. With drinks in tow, many were eager to see the O Emperor perform in honour of the release of their vinyl edition of Lizard. The album had already received much critical acclaim, with ‘Switchblade’ being named one of NME’s tracks of the day. Indeed, Lizard had been one of the most fantastic Irish releases of this year, with the sort of quirky charm and indie-rock that Irish fans crave. The Sugar Club was the most perfect choice for the band because, like O Emperor, it’s full of quirkiness and delight in equal measure.
So what could one expect from the Waterford rockers on their third musical foray? Their previous two albums, Vitreous and Hither Thither, had already certified them easily as one of the best things to come from Waterford in quite some time. Yet Lizard, as an EP, could be seen as the musical affirmation of the band’s coming of age. ‘Switchblade’, beyond NME’s approval, is the sort of psychedelic, head-banging anthem that marks the band as serious rockers with tinges of Pink Floyd and Pixies to boot.
The band dabbled between the EP and their two previous albums and it worked brilliantly to demonstrate O Emperor’s musical range as a band. Laughing at one point, they encouraged fans to ‘take a journey with us back to 2010’ where they performed such gems as ‘To the Sea’ and (thorough crowd pleaser) ‘Don’t Mind Me’. This non-linear movement throughout the discography worked in a pendulum movement, highlighting the brilliance of the band’s early days and their musical progression with tracks such as ‘Trash Club’. Considering how O Emperor have undeniably built themselves from the ground up, recording and writing all of their own tracks, it seems only right that they’re receiving the success and praise for what they’ve accomplished so far with this EP. All hail the emperor’s new groove.
Review by Elaine McDonald
Photos by Tudor Marian