Rob (drums and vocals)
Beatsteaks – Limbo Messiah
This album is the perfect entry to discover one of your new favourite bands. Since it came out in 2007, they’ve definitely been my favourite band! Beatsteaks are everything that’s right about a band. Melodic, creative, boundaryless, fun, humble and incredible live. Limbo Messiah captures these traits and their personality perfectly. "As I Please" is a brilliant opener. By the time the drums come in, you already know you’re going to make it all the way to the end of the album.
Crazy Arm – Born To Ruin
When you hear your friends new album/EP for the first time, you hope it’s going to be good enough to not have to lie about it. I’m sure our friends know that feeling well!!! On this occasion, our friends in Crazy Arm had genuinely created one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. Perfection from start to finish. You’ll blow your voice out singing along to it and lose count of how many times you punch the air. Not much else to say really. If you’re a fan of music, it’s impossible not to be a fan of this record.
Andy (guitar and vocals)
Audio Karate – Lady Melody
This album is incredible from start to finish. The song ‘Hey Maria’ resonates with me on so many levels. Musically, lyrically and production-wise it has it all for me. There is a raw emotion throughout the album which never gets old. I was so inspired by the vocal takes on Hey Maria that I wrote to the singer (Yeah, I know.) and struck up a conversation about music production. He wrote back with such appreciation and explained that, even though he’d recorded the vocals to this song already, the producer demanded that he re-record the vocals precisely ‘because’ his voice was worn out. Listen to the song with this in mind and I think you’ll agree it was a good move. Unbelievable song, classic album.
Cave In – Antenna
A timeless classic which is both unique and inspiring. I can’t explain why but this album somehow bends the rules. The song ‘Inspire’ has everything; an enormous riff that even a neck-brace wouldn’t hold back the frowning nod and a chorus which would make any band jealous. I was devastated to hear the tragic news of Caleb Scofield’s passing, but his lyrics, vocal melodies and basslines will inspire me forever.
Scott (bass guitar and vocals)
Fighting With Wire – Man vs Monster
Sad to see this band disappear after being held back by their label. After signing with Atlantic, they seemed like they were destined for the big time, but had their sophomore album release delayed and delayed until the strain broke up the band. But their amazing debut record is full of massive riffs and a distinctively dirty guitar tone. It's a passionate record that should have seen them achieve far wider recognition.
Sparta – Porcelain
A great record that strikes the ideal balance between Sparta's punk roots and more artistic ambitions. "While Oceana Sleeps" in particular has everything – atmosphere, raw passion, beautiful lyrics and one of the best bass-driven verses ever written.
Seamus (lead vocals and guitar)
Counting Crows – Recovering the Satellites
Gil Norton took the helm in producing this album as the band went for a heavier sound for their second album. It is miles different to their debut, August, and everything after. Angels Of The Silences and Daylight Fading are two stand out tracks for me as the guitar playing is sublime and it really has a very live feel to the whole record. A Long December is heartbreaking and beautiful as the record’s closing track.
The Frames – Set List
The frames have been one of my favourite bands for years, ever since I caught them accidentally in a club in Dublin around 2001. Possibly one of the greatest live bands I've ever seen. And this record really shows off what the band can do live and how incredible their song writing is. Recorded in 2002 at the legendary Vicar Street venue in their hometown of Dublin, the audience singing every word highlights what the band mean to the people in the room and beyond. A truly great Irish band but with international appeal. Revelate and Santa Maria are insanely good songs and even better presented here live.
Nik (guitar and vocals)
Transit – Joyride
The album boasts a collection of well crafted pop-rock songs worthy of anyone’s attention (subjective). The dark and light contrast between beautiful melodic harmonies and scathing sinister lyrics set this album apart for me. A must listen.
RX Bandits – Gemini, Her Majesty
Underrated but certainly well appreciated. The songwriting, musicianship and production on this album is phenomenal. This is the kind of album that always sounds fresh, no matter how many times you spin it. Funk-punk-rock-soul and r’n’b at its finest.
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