Egyptian Hip-Hop at The Grand Social | Review

Egyptian Hip Hop at The Grand Social | Review Egyptian Hip Hip 150x150Egyptian Hip-Hop are a strange band. Formed in 2008, the band generated a huge amount of excitement with their song Rad Pitt. Perhaps somewhat overwhelmed by the attention the song received, the band took until last year to release a full-length album. On Thursday they played their first Irish gig in the Grand Social.

The first support band was I Heart The Monster Hero, a band fond of long chaotic intros to their songs. Whether this was intentional, or if there was some technical issue was hard to tell, but once they actually got going they were pretty good, with fuzzy guitars and strong bass lines complimented by the synths and pleasant vocals.

They were followed by the second support band Vann, who stole the show with their magnificent performance. The band played songs that were full of energy and excitement, with massive, catchy choruses, such as the powerful Be My Balloon. The band rely mostly on 80s’ style synth sounds, but biting guitar solos regularly come crashing into the songs adding some steel to the tunes. The band were animated, and front man Aaron Smyth was especially engaging, leaping all over the stage and generally holding the undivided attention of the audience. Here is a band with huge potential, and every single one of the songs they played was breath-taking.

The crowd actually thinned out for the headliners of the show, Egyptian Hip-Hop. And it was fairly obvious why, after the instantly like-able anthems played by Vann, Egyptian Hip-Hop’s psychedelic noise fest was difficult to wrap your ears around. The band played songs that are dependent on the bass to hold the melody line, while the effect-heavy guitars swirling round vaguely. The vocals are drenched in reverb which makes making out any lyrics is impossible. The result is insubstantial sounding songs that fail to grab you. That being said, there are moments when it all seems to come together for the band. The White Falls borders on brilliance, creating an eerie atmosphere that invites you to lose yourself in its murky depths. But at other points, such as in Tobago, the sound is just too wispy and lacking in substance to garner anything meaningful from the song. The problem is, there’s just too many effects used on both guitars and vocal. The music has no purpose or direction, it merely floats around fruitlessly. To make things worse, the band didn’t even play Rad Pitt, their trademark tune.

Rarely does a support band overshadow the main act as much as Vann did here, but that’s exactly what happened at the Grand Social. Egyptian Hip-Hop weren’t bad by any means, but they failed to catch the imagination as much as Vann did, and ultimately the night belonged to the support group.

3 Comments

  1. basedgod says:

    Eww vann were shit.. first support much better than them,
    EHH were really good were you even there?

  2. Sarah H says:

    I would say this review is accurate. The first band were very immature/amateur but eventually took got cotrol (somewhat) but seemed loose around the edges. I would say Vann looked/sounded better because A: they seemed more professional with a fuller more perfected sound and B: had the most support on the night. When a reviewer speaks they reflect on all areas. I was there also and concur with all the above review. I would suggest on a ratio basis I would rate Egyptian Hip Hip / Vann / I heart the monster hero a simple 30 / 60 / 10. I am a nonbiased opinion who represents a major label in the UK who saw all bands for the first time on Thursday night in Dublin.

  3. Jimbob says:

    Wow this is depressing to read. As the singer from I Heart The Monster Hero said at the start ‘If there’s A&R here, fuck off!’
    At least they had charachter and a sense of humour (loved the clapping thing). Musically speaking do you not understand the idea of lo-fi? It was a fun, grungy set. Me and my friends left the room for a bit after hearing what Vann sounded like – very vapid pop. But what do you expect from someone in a major label, I bet they were right up your ally. What label do you represent by the way? I’m non-biased myself and have never seen those bands before.
    As for Egyptian Hip Hop, well, if you came looking to hear Rad Pitt you were at the wrong show. Anyone following their career would know they are not some cheap thrill act. Theirs is a more challenging sound, but nonetheless rewarding. I thought their repetitive, almost trance like rhythm, variety of time signatures and psychedelic (veering on celtic at times) guitar effects were beautiful.
    Peace and love,
    a gig goer and musician