Tallaght’s knack for producing Irish sports stars is unquestioned, but in terms of cultural output the south Dublin suburb is found somewhat wanting. When you consider its most famous production of the last few years is ‘Tallafornia’ you get a picture of how bad things are. Looking to put the town on the map though is The Stoney Brokes, a female fronted five piece who have just released their debut album.
Almost three years in the making, ‘Something Irrelevant’ sees the young band experimenting with a variety of styles and sounds over the course of its ten songs. On The Dealers Hand and Girls Don’t Sleep we get bouncy pop punk reminiscent of No Doubt. I’m Not Dying and Gentlemen Callers are of a similar ilk; spikey, energetic and infectious. At the other end of the spectrum there’s Make Me New, a fragile, soulful ballad on which singer Amy Kelly really shows her vocal prowess.
Elsewhere we get a couple of straight up pop numbers in Counting The Days and You Don’t See Me. The results are mixed, neither really impresses with the former particularly forgettable. They’re more comfortable on the likes of The Fear; a slow garage rock number that has shades of The Stooges to it. It’s a song that showcases the band’s qualities with Kelly’s powerful voice resonating over a simple bluesy riff.
In spite of its merits, this album just lacks that cutting edge necessary to make it truly essential. While it only has a couple of poor songs on it, the problem is everything else is solid rather than spectacular. There’s nothing here that has that wow factor. It’s still early days though and there’s plenty of promise to build on. In Kelly they possess a great lead singer and the rest of the bands are excellent musicians. It’s a combination that has the potential to create a truly great album. Unfortunately, this isn’t it.