Saturday, 11 March 2017

Album: 23 - Epochal

Epochal 23

23 - Electric Ecstasy

Info: 23 is the alternative electronic indie music project of professional musician Padar Mulvey. Formed in 2013, 23 began as a one man Indie band taking its influence from 60's British Invasion music and 90's Brit-pop. Upon hearing the 'Alive 2007' album by a certain 'French House' duo, 23 pulled the guitars down from eleven and introduced a synth to the music. The result? An alternative electronic indie rock album named 'Epochal'.

One of the most interesting aspects of Navan act 23's debut album, Epochal, is how that early Brit-pop influence pervades across the entire collection of songs, vocally Mulvey recalls the anthemic swagger of those heady 90's days, which is immediately apparent on first track 'Be My Noise'. From its soft openings, the first fizz of electronic synth, bass and beats kick in, if his vox echo the mid-90's era, the sound is very much 80's pop here.

'Sing To Me' is like a mash-up of Daft Punk and MGMT with a Scandi-pop twist, it's lively and upbeat, with the slightest hints of psychedelic funk bubbling under the surface. 'Electric Ecstasy' (above) is a snappier affair, with abrupt guitar progressions and a melodic bass-line, it also has that dance-floor filler groove like its predecessor.

On 'Crackerjack' there's a well-formed combination of indie and electro-funk, and at this point I'm becoming aware of a late 70's disco theme emerging, this track is a definite highlight on the album and has single written all over it. 'Motley' digs deep into a myriad of Brit-pop era sounds, from The Charlatans, to The Lightning Seeds, to Babybird, making the electronic sounds almost supplementary on the track, it's a nice slice of nostalgia.

23 - Sing It To Me

The delightfully titled 'Monkeys With Machine Guns' ensures that early swagger is kept going, neat guitar licks and chugging bass-lines circle around the synth before a break in the final quarter sees 23 elevate the track to an 80's electro-pop plateau. The dance-infused 'For You' adopts a slightly darker hue when compared to the rest of the album, this is welcome, as at times, by this point the album did flirt with a small pattern of repetition. Epochal concludes with its title-track, and again it was good to see a change in direction in the sound, it's perhaps the most contemporary sounding track on the whole album and shows a willingness to experiment with more instrumental electronic moments, indeed it's another strong highlight on the album. 

Overall Epochal is a solid debut with many effervescent moments which are nothing but enjoyable, on a personal note I think Mulvey's real strength begins to emerge towards the album's end, and a focus on this part of his sound will ensure the longevity of the project.

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