OutOnALimb Records - 2003 - 32 minutes

In rock music, raw can be a potent weapon. When it comes to disaffected youth, it is the only weapon. Rawness was the pulse of punk, put the grit in grunge, and has always been the heartbeat of the alternative scene.

Limerick duo giveamanakick like raw. A lot. But this, the band's debut, is what happens when rawness comes without any real sense of purpose. A full-on sonic assault is one thing, but it works infinitely better if its diluted with some clever melody (Pixies) or even interesting lyrics (Husker Dü). Unfortunately, 'Is It OK To Be Loud, Jesus?' has little of either. 

Stubbornly uncommercial, most of the tracks here have three fibres: tinpot drums, abrasive guitars, and spat vocals. There is little variation, and the ensemble devours the positive kinks in the formula that are present on the likes of 'Marmite Walk' and 'Show Me a Style'. Admittedly, it's easy to see from this how giveamanakick could be an incendiary live act. But without the visible blood, sweat and tears, the impact is greatly diminished. 

Buckets of energy? Yes. Raw? Very. Better for it? Not much.

Tom Grealis

Tracklisting: Ger Canning - Say "No" to Sports - Marmite Walk - Phats - Show Me a Style - Significock - The Kid With the Really Old Face - Checka - Me and My Powerful Dad - Darko Filopovic