Croupier ‘Croupier’ – album review

Croupier ‘Croupier’ (Eleven Eleven)
Out Now

Energetic rock band Croupier have been busy building up a name for themselves around their native Ireland recently & have just released their debut, self titled album. Chris Ledwidge is a fan & reviews said album for us below.

Anyone who is out experiencing live music in Dublin and across Ireland are really being treated to some exciting innovations over the past couple of years in the form of bands, venues, new promoters. Inevitably this is also spawning lots of great bloggers and places to pick up on new music.

One of a slew of great guitar bands to come through the scenes recently is Croupier who released their debut, self-titled album a few weeks ago on 24th August which is not only bloody fantastic but it’s also one of the most exciting things I’ve heard from any Irish band in years.

From the first notes the sound of Croupier is full of melody, riffs and licks that you want to pigeon-hole into some genre or other but will end realising ly somewhere in between all of them. From a \’sounds like’ point of view I’d put them alongside bands like Belfast’s “And So I Watch You from Afar” or a more melodic type of “Devil Sold His Soul”, but there’s much more on offer here than the latter. At times riffs are akin to something more standard like Biffy Clyro, but then the lead guitar will take you dangerously close to jazz territory (the good kind).

There is great use of interplay between guitar lines and drums, and using vocals as an instrument, continuing along the same or alternating melody lines between the guitars. The use of various tones and effects on the guitars keeps things sounding interesting, rather than just one sound throughout. Piano filters in through parts to fill out the colour of their sound. A crushing distorted guitar on “The Crooper” and “Creo Beast” gives way to a restrained reverb and chorus laden rhythm sound on “It’s Not the TV” and at the end of this track the lead guitar sound is pushed to highlight the tension in the vocal refrain which repeats the lines “Feels like I’m lost; Castaway, Feels like I’m home…”. This is then continued across the next track “Dear Murray”.

On the vocal side of things there’s probably not a huge amount to let the band connect with a wider audience. It’s probably safe to say Croupier have connected with me because I’m a guitarist myself and so will love everything they have to offer in that department. If they want to appeal to a wider audience they’ll probably need to develop some depth in their song writing next time.

I feel like this is a band holding back a huge amount. They have such an amount of energy surging out of this record but it feels like they could only really let loose in a live setting. Definitely a band to get to see live soon if you’re in Ireland and hopefully they’ll tour across the UK in the next few months or in 2013.

Croupier play the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival in Dublin around the 4th, 5th and 6th October.

More info about the band can be found on their website here & on their label’s website here.

The band are also on twitter as @croupiertheband as are their label as @Eleven11label. Croupier are also on Facebook here.

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