"Connect One" - Laois Music Connect

This is one hell of a compilation album. Remember the review on the IYMA Boys & Girls album? This is very much in the same vain but quite possibly with some bigger names. We've got James O'Conner with Audrey Trainor along with Nova Static and Adela Meally who all played Electric Picnic. All in all, this album is one of the most original releases I've heard in a long time and gives the listener only a small notion of the kind of musical talent in the best county of all, Laois. 

1. The Little Smoke - "Run Through These Streets"
2. Beresque - "Invaders"
3. Nova Static - "Heart In A Landslide"
4. James O’Connor with Audrey Trainor - "Second Hand Time"
5. Billy Kenrick - "Where The Red River Flows"
6. Ceolaire - "Freeweigh"
7. Burningboy - "Tenderheart"
8. Kevin Healy - "Stand Up"
9. Emer Dunne - "Breaking Me"
10. Dave Morrissey - "Mother Nature Says"
11. Eva Queen - "P.I.L.L."
12. The Keepers - "Little Bird"
13. Global Trad Underground feat. MC Sybil - "The Dream Of The Eastern Clan" feat. MC Sybil
14. Adela and The Meanits - "Cavan Fever"
15. Bebop & Rocksteady - "Isolation"
16. Dog Star Shine - "Still Breathin’"
17. Rapunzels Wig - "Panic Push Shove"
18. The Perfect Skins - "Waiting For The Night"
19. Jay Skelly and Rollie Feat. Sinead Boomsma - "Night Away (Radio Edit)"

The Little Smoke
- "Run Through These Streets"
Very professional, pop sound. Funky bass with nice light guitar sounds. Certainly dance worthy. Could easily imagine a choon like this at Oxegen or Electric Picnic.  A true anthem.

- "Invaders"
Very nice reggae fusion choon. VERY original, very listenable. Luvin the synth in the background. Repeat button, prepare to get raped. I want to listen to this choon while dressed like the lads from Daft Punk on a beach while drinking some Malibu.

Nova Static
- "Heart In A Landslide"
Very dance rock. Think Two Door Cinema club if their balls had dropped. Some awesome bass riffage going on.

Jason O’Conner with Audrey Trainer

- "Second Hand Time"
Drums, bass, guitar…yeah…and then some MUTHERF****N  strings. A very melancholic song. VERY original in style with some clever lyrics (the title being one of them). Some pretty dark chord progressions in there to add a downbeat bite to it.

Billy Kenrick

-"Where the Red River Flows"
Very trad sound with a nice flowey bass in the background. Nice original style vocals there, kindof Sean-nós, kinda not. A very ominous sound is created on (what sounds like) a bigass brass instrument.

- "Freeweigh"
The intro to this song is just awesome, very inventive. My one critisism is that the singer is either off tone, out of tune, off key or just flat most of the time but he gets better the more the song progresses. It’s a fantastic tune, very original and slightly downbeat. I’m luvin the drums aswell. I’d love to be able to play drums like this and still keep in time.

- "Tenderheart"
Melancholy, sad. The perfect song to listen to while lying back on your back and staring at your bedroom ceiling. Very emotionally evocative if one is prone to that sort of that thing. However, the guitar thrown in towards the end is the muddy welly footprints on the Mona Lisa. Not only should it not have been including but it sounds SHITE. Was there a monkey let at the amp?

Kevin Healy
- "Stand Up"
The only words I can describe this tune are uplifting blues. This is the upbeat kinda sound I was looking for on this album after a few downers there. This song is almost literally a breath of fresh air. I don’t mean that literally, obviously. That would be silly.

Emer Dunne
- "Breaking Dunne"
Oh this is good. Very good. Kinda downbeat, singer songwritery stuff again but once again, the grungy-guitar-wielding-out-of-place monkey makes his return. What’s with these grungy out of place guitars? It doesn’t fit MY taste for a song like this, maybe yours though. This is a very good song.

Dave Morrisey
- "Mother Nature Says"
Singer-songwriter stuff again. Nice harmonica (luv me a bit of harmonica). I’m reminded of Seán Murphy on the IYMA album but mostly of Eoin Boyle from a previous review. Very nice kinda choon. I’d listen to this on the bus home from a shite day at college/work/school etc.

Eva Queen
- "P.I.L.L"
Kindof a dark, hurdy gurdy, carousel tune. It’s very akin to avant-garde lounge music. Well, maybe not lounge, I don’t know…it’s very original. Then the slow, piano section with the narative lyrics and what I can only describe as the monkey on the drums leading back into the main melody. The creepy laughter? Creepy. F**king creepy.

- "Little Bird"
This is a beauty of a song. Very trad in sound yet still modern. This is a tune to listen to on a journey out to the west of the country.  I find the drums to be a bit intrusive but much praise to the tin whistle. Just over halfway, the tune breaks out into an old Irish tune I know (but seem to have forgotten the name).

Global Trad Underground
"The Dream Of The Eastern Clan"
This is a brave song to do. It’s nothing short of ambitious and could have gone so wrong but these guys pulled it off. It’s got everything. Even some nice conga playing. It’s a fantastic song. Pure brilliance. Possibly THE most original thing on this album. I can’t even class it as anything specific. Ethnic? Yeah, ethnic comes kinda close.

Adela and the Meanits
- "Cavan Fever"
This is the first time I’ve ever heard Adela Meally and I’m just as impressed now as I was then. This girl only went from strength to strength. This is another one of those original songs which fans of Adela have come to know and love now. I'm strongly reminded of a band called Diablo Swing Orchestra and Adela seems to fit that mould perfectly: Jazzy swing stuff with some bouncy happiness. A little too happy? NEVER.

Bebop & Rocksteady
- "Isolation"
Ah Bebop. Long time no see. We last saw these guys on the IYMA compilation CD review. This is possibly their strongest song I’ve heard in a long time with some beautiful progressions, hard rock sound and a motherf**kin cello. Once again, I’ve fallen for David Hart’s bass playing. That kid is GOOD. This is an unreal song.

Dog Star Shine
- "Still Breathin’"
I like it. Uplifting rock. Want a comparison? Take 30 Seconds to Mars but with less oestrogen. Now, as good as this song is, I honestly don’t think that singer is able to tackle some of those high notes. He just winds up going flat. Still, an amazing tune.

Rapunzel’s Wig
- Panic Push Shove
Hmmmm. This tune started off very promising. A darker mood than we’ve previously heard and the music is fantastic. The bass is a wee bit intrusive in places the band needs a new singer. I’m sorry, but my ears and killing me musically during that song. The rest of the band however…top notch. Very dark and funky.

The Perfect Skins
- "Waiting For The Night"
This is another one of those songs I can imagine out at an open air festival or something. Those vocals don’t seem to match the style of music but funny enough, they go together lick cracker and cheese. This a very cheerful sounding song, with some expert song writing. I’d listen to it again. In fact, I think I will.

Jay Skelly & Rollie Ft. Sinead Boomsma
- "Night Away (Radio Edit)"
This is good, this is very good. Dance music. On an album dominated by groovy bass lines, bluesy voices, trad guitars, some ethnic styles aswell, a nice techno tune is very much appreciated. This is the song I want playing while driving around the town, doing laps, in me micra, goin outside nightclubs to fight boys in Suburu Jackets. Anyone get the reference? No? Maybe? Whatever. Although this song certainly a break away from the rest of the album, there’s not a whole lot going on besides the same tune played over and over again with varying percussion and the odd “ooooooh” in the backround.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. The single most original release I've reviewed so far and I've a feeling it'll retain that lofty privelige for a long time with it's erratic combination of trad, ethnic, dance, rock, depressing, hopped-on-coke happy, grungy vibes. The hopped on coke bit was metaphorical. I feel sorry for the people I had to spell that out to. But seriously, this is an amazing release and is a god-damn steal at €10 from Anthem Music and Trax in Portlaoise. Alternativly, you can buy it from Tower Records in Dublin but I think you might have to order it in at this stage.
Here's the link to buy it at Tower Records anyway. Go. Buy it now.

Song Highlights
"Second Hand Time"
"Cavan Fever"
"The Dream Of The Eastern Clan"

Doctor's Rating: 10/10
"Connect One" - Laois Music Connect - Recommended by the Good Doctor

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