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Kodaline

Dublin’s KODALINE were not just the new THRILLS in town, but the musical embodiment of COLDPLAY, KEANE and SNOW PATROL, complete with soaring, climactic U2-like anthems and a raft of craic-ing tunes. Actually starting off as 21 Demands (c. 2005), and from the area of Swords in the Irish capital, the quartet made history when they were the first act ever to reach pole position in their homeland when an independently-released download, `Give Me A Minute’, hit chart pay-dirt in March 2007.
Comprising frontman Steve Garrigan (also guitar/keyboards), Mark Prendergast (guitar), Vinny May (drums) and Jason Boland (bass) – the latter preferred over Conor Linnane when the combo changed their moniker to the more-streamline KODALINE – many pundits were touting the group as Ireland’s most promising act. Buoyed by the chart-topping native success of `High Hopes’ and the Top 10 `Love Like This’ (soon-to-be delivered into the UK charts by RCA/B-Unique Records), IN A PERFECT WORLD (2013) {*7}, answered their critics and doubters with a UK Top 3 place. Okay, they’d still had America to conquer in the midst of a folk-rock revival, but aforementioned singles were cool enough to be the next great white hope. Maybe, the release of the yearning `All I Want’ or `Pray’, will secure the band’s dreams of getting to the top; note that a cover of LCD SOUNDSYSTEM’s `All My Friends’ was available as a B-side.
Round two of KODALINE’s antiseptic “rock”, COMING UP FOR AIR (2015) {*4}, was in a word – suffocating. Reaching out to the mind-set of techy-twiddling teenagers unaware of “real” “rawk” bands out there, the Irish combo pulled on the heart-strings with sorrowful cliches about love and its foibles in the hope to reach the top of the charts by Valentine’s Day. Falling short at number 4 in Britain, it looked to be a COLDPLAY in Hell before America froze over to their epic-tricity. Okay, the sing-a-long appeal of `Honest’ was nice enough to eat, and the schmaltzy `Unclear’ had the choirboy-backed hallelujah effect, but in the aptly-titled `Lost’ and `Autopilot’ it wasn’t a case of `Everything Works Out In The End’ (as in the KEANE-cloned track 10).
© MCS Aug2013-Feb2015

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