Greyslate – 2001 – 35 minutes

In the midst of a Dublin's low-fi music implosion, the Redneck Manifesto have been a conspicuous presence stage left of the scene. Reversing the Kings of Convenience principle, they dare to declare loud as the new quiet. A ubiquitous presence on the live circuit, their unique musings have garnered them a dedicated troupe of followers. While this pithy debut album may be preaching to the converted, it should expand their audience horizon, and deservedly so.

'ThirtySixStrings' is more of a cohesive opus than an album of disparate songs. Fractured rhythms are tempered by Mervyn Craig's inspired drumming, while off-kilter tempos do battle with a whole gamut of guitar sounds. Opener ' You Owe Me Five Potatoes' is brilliantly hypnotic and 'Slow On The Uptake' begins introspectively before shifting up a gear to at the climax. 'Sounds Better Than It Looks' is a mellow masterpiece while the title track plays us out leaving the listener wanting more than a 35 minute composition.

If any criticism can be leveled at such an accomplished collection of songs, it's the slightly derivative overtones. While there's no dispute about the truckload of talent on this album, it looks a little too eagerly to its forefathers. One moment we're in a Tortoise vortex, the next we're knee-deep in Slint. That said the metaphysical melodies on 'ThirtySixStrings' make this a fine debut. Great cover too.

Sinéad Gleeson

Tracklisting: You Owe Me Five Potatoes – Sweet Pot – Slow On The Uptake – Sounds Better Than It Looks – Clue Out Puzzles – Speaking Of Clowns – Soundscapes Over Landscapes – I Don't Speak The Monkey Language, I Just Hear It – Arbus - ThirtySixStrings