Botched Fairytale are composed of Marie O’Hara and Mariel McCormack and their eponymous debut album is, for want of a better word, savage. Wait no, not for want of a better word, savage is the perfect word. And that’s ‘savage’ as it’s used in Dublin schoolyards; “Is that the new United top?” “Yeah” “Awww, it’s savage”. Actually, come to think of it, the other traditional use of the word ‘savage’ could also be used to describe this record, because this is a collection of songs that are by turns wild, brutal, untamed and crude (guess who just typed the word ‘savage’ into thesaurus?).
The band have proudly posted the words for their songs up on myspace and there’s much to be unpicked from the carefully crafted lyrics. But it’s in their delivery of these words that Botched Fairytale come into their own. Guitars, mandolins, accordion, drums and whistles can all be heard at various points. But it’s the use of a sheet of industrial metal doubling as a cymbal that allows O’Hara and McCormack to match their lyrics with something unique. This will never be played at dinner parties, or even in the early stages of a gaff party, but this is great still-drinking-the-following-morning music; decrepit, filthy, wrong but somehow still appealing.
Nasty music is all well and good but the danger is that songs can meld into each other, forming an interminable dirge. Again ‘Fairytale comes up trumps, each song has it’s own identity. The vocals on ‘Steelcapped Toes’ sound like The Knife with a Irish accent. ‘Chasers’ is a great Pogues-esque ode to a days-long session and sounds like it was recorded in one of the early houses it references. ‘The ’06 Census’ ends in a shoegaze drone. Going on the title ‘Hello from Trabolgen’ promises a nostalgia-filled name check of all the spots in the Cork holiday centre (what you never went as a child?). However, the only holiday memory it evokes is the car sickness on the way home…but obviously in a good way.
Botched Fairytale are currently distributing their album free to anyone who asks for it. If there’s any justice in the world this approach will generate the great word-of-mouth buzz that this record deserves.