Nicki Meehan reviews the Penrose EP Live for the Dream
After a busy year of gigging around the Dublin circuit, along with a few crucial line up changes, Irish indie rockers Penrose have released their self produced, debut EP ‘Live For The Dream’. The band, who formed in 2013, have enjoyed a positive reception thus far with successful appearances on Balcony TV and Radio Nova as well as numerous live performances in venues across the city such as Sweeney’s and The Mercantile.
With this inaugural effort, Darragh McGrane and Co. have served up a melodic and uplifting, four track throwback to 90’s/Noughties indie rock, with songs reminiscent of artists such as The Feeling, The Fratellis, The Thrills, Oasis or The Verve whom the band specifically cite as an influence.
The opening track ‘See you Again’ initially holds the slightest suggestion of a darker, grungier tone in the verses before evolving in to a bright, upbeat rock/pop track with soothing, echoing back-up vocals that at times sound like Elliot Smith made a guest appearance from beyond the grave. Albeit a more cheerful version. The track outro is particularly catchy.
The second track, ‘Melody’ opens with a quirky introductory passage, a faux stage announcement of sorts that sets the fun, playful tone for the rest of the song. The driving bass and drums are similar to that of The Proclaimers much loved classic: ‘500 miles’.
‘Harmony’ offers a slight change of pace and a more sombre soundscape. The piano led track boasts a powerful string section and the lead guitar solo is definitely a highlight.
Penrose stick with the slower tempo once more in their final offering, ‘Where you go now’. However, the track slowly builds up to a rousing, almost psychedelic chaos for it’s closing bars which serves as the perfect ending for the record.
Penrose’s songs are well conceptualized and structured and the production of this EP is impressive considering that it was self-made debut. Their vocal harmonies are impressively tight but at times they run the risk of appearing sickly sweet, luckily they avoid treading too far over this line. With the current revival of 90s/Noughties trends taking place in both the music and fashion world’s right now, Penrose may just capitalize. They are a band with plenty of potential and should be watched with interest.
Rating : A solid effort 3/5
1. See you again
4.Where you go now
‘Live for the dream’ is available to stream now on Soundcloud: