NO ENCORE: THE REVISIT | 1994
NO ENCORE once again travels back in time for THE REVISIT as Irish albums from a given year duke it out for critical supremacy. 1994 was the year when Ray Houghton spurred Ireland to a memorable victory over Italy in the World Cup but there were similar heroics back home, as this collection of records confirms.
The five albums discussed on this edition of THE REVISIT are:
The second studio album from Limerick outfit The Cranberries would emerge as their most commercially successful offering and a darker, rockier aesthetic than that of their debut, with the politically-charged ‘Zombie’ in particular – and its iconic video – leaving a searing cultural impression.
The final release from Cork noisemakers The Fatima Mansions boasts a tribute to Liberace in its artwork and a cover of The Walker Brothers’ ‘Nite Flights’ among its tracks, but there’s a singular, individual power in the work of Cathal Coughlan and company. Lost In The Former West is direct, decidedly strange in parts and always interesting.
Kilkenny’s Kerbdog are arguably best remembered for sophomore outing On The Turn, but their self-titled debut three years earlier set the tone for that record while introducing a band that thrived on their grunge and metal influences. Kerbdog is packed with big riffs, drenched in effects and very, very loud indeed.
With Karl Odlum and the late Mic Christopher at the helm, The Mary Janes represent something of an important historical footnote in Irish music. Though they would disband at the turn of the century, the pleasingly ramshackle outfit paved the way for many acts through their DIY and carefree brand of rock histrionics.
At time of writing, prolific Northern Irish hell-raisers Therapy? have released a whopping fourteen studio albums but Troublegum is regularly cited as the definite article by fans and critics alike. Brash, abrasive and damn good fun; Troublegum runs quite the face-melting gauntlet but also finds room for social commentary and era-centric insight. A belter with brains.