Murder Plan “Drinkin’ With the Devil” EP

Posted on August 11, 2011

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After over a month on hiatus (I was ambling around the continent to those interested), Think You Can Wait returns with a series of posts on music that is simply grabbing my attention right now. The first of these is an EP by Dublin quintet Murder Plan.

The very best rock & roll is always pretty simple isn’t it? Look back through the years – the complexities are wonderful, but I always find myself returning more to the simple, stripped back works of anyone from the White Stripes to the Beatles, Elliott Smith, Wilco and more.

Murder Plan fall somewhere into the midst of this category. The tracks on the Drinkin’ With the Devil EP have the origins in blues but are given a fantastic burst of life by the mesmerising and soulful lead vocals of Stephanie O’Keeffe.

The band are a Dublin based 5 piece with Donal, Cathal and Dara Melinn and Steve Flynn making up the remainder. The band themselves maintain their sound is grounded in “bastard blues” are that influences are the Beatles, Nick Cave and Tom Waits. All three can be heard in abundance on this EP.

Similar to the Minutes, the blues have formed a distinctive core for Murder Plan, however in stark contrast to their Dublin counterparts, Murder Plan have pursued an avenue adorned with thoughtful, insightful lyrics and Fleetwood Mac-esque melodies.

Track 3 on the EP, “Soul Dance”, in particular embodies this. Just four minutes in length, the track swarms between a ska-infused verse and a slower, soulful chorus to create an absolutely stunning track.

The final track on the EP, “(Drinkin’ With) The Devil” excited me more than near any other track I’ve heard this year. Stephanie O’Keeffe allows her voice to swing between her usual soulful incarnation and an Imelda May-like crescendo. This is buoyed by a guitar line and drum combination that epitomises the very best the blues has to offer – raw, powerful and stripped, it could have walked right off anything by the Black Keys, the White Stripes or something a little more old school.

The earlier songs on the EP, while no less powerful are a little more subdued. Think Beatles inspired pop – something in the vein of the Gorgeous Colours, Henrietta Game et al. Irish pop music is in safe hands for some time to come.

Most press cuttings on the band cites (as seems to be the case with most Irish releases nowadays actually) the ever wonderful Nay McArdle of Harmless Noise who quipped that  “Murder Plan show how rock ‘n’ roll should be done..the big hook is the song, with such a rousing title and bowsy chorus.” and, despite how hard I may try, it is difficult to sum it up more perfectly than that.

Bluesy, soulful yet unreservedly accessible, Murder Plan are a band that have a bright future if the Drinkin’ With the Devil EP is anything to go by.

The band will be launching the EP on the 26th of August upstairs in Whelan’s with support coming from St John the Gambler. Tickets priced at €10 are available now and are well worth the purchase. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the title track alone is worth parting with the cash…

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