Corrigan – How To Hang Off A Rope

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Martin Corrigan, currently to be seen, tackle-out, gracing the pages of this week’s issue of Kerrang! magazine, is evidently a star in waiting. Hailing from glitzy Boho, Co. Fermanagh, the band – whose name describes a Celtic fairy that steals the souls of children – was originally just Martin and a guitar, but has evolved into a six-strong noise machine of guitars and skewed keyboards.

Centred around Martin Corrigan’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics, the collection of songs that make up their debut album paint a disturbing Lynchian picture, borne of the band’s collective frustration at growing up in rural Ireland. Opening track – and early single – WE’RE THE WIRE sets the scene with typical wit: “Well I sent for my sister, and they sent me her cousin / I said, ‘She sure is good looking, send me half a dozen’”.

Produced by Andy Miller (Mogwai, Arab Strap), the album veers from the gentle balladry of CRUMBLE to the stop-start insanity of MY HEAD DOES DANCES, while tracks like SONG FOR LIFE more than prove that Corrigan can do beauty as well as they can document ugly, and the explosive power of WATERBALLAD can’t fail to impress.

Some of the tracks sound a bit raw in this company (although FORGET IT has an excuse – it’s their debut single), but then that’s part of Corrigan’s charm. You never quite know what’s coming next.

Admittedly, Martin Corrigan’s edge-of-sanity vocals won’t be for everyone (especially on recent single SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT) – he is going to be one of those frontmen who polarises an audience, but this album evokes the wayward spirits of The Jesus Lizard, Fatima Mansions, Talking Heads and Nick Cave, making it nothing if not interesting.

4 stars