The best Irish album of the last decade – and you’ve never heard it

A house in Galway, 80 hours of material, producer Jimmy Eadie: and then we have this

Rollers/Sparkers: It’s not just the artwork that’s obscure

Rollers/Sparkers: It’s not just the artwork that’s obscure

 

This is how it works: The music business, industry, world or what ever you want to call it is in a state of flux. Most of the bigger record companies have folded after several decades fleecing their artists and customers. Some still exist but the relationship between them and the radio industry remains unhealthily entangled.

The result is a moribund broadcasting scene, where the more commercial musical releases still get priority and the majority of airtime. Apart from clusters of hopeful developments on the internet, for which we are grateful, the good music rarely gets heard. You’d think we’d have learned our lesson by now.

Everything and yet nothing much has changed.

This is broadly the reason why the best album released this decade in Ireland is one you’ve probably never heard of. This is why the band Rollers/Sparkers continue to plough along in night and day jobs while their effervescent third LP languishes in obscurity. You won’t even find it in the bargain bins as it never got a proper release. This is like digging a hole and shoveling our jewels underground in case someone takes notice. It’s a waste, a crying shame, a scandal and an unfunny joke.

The fact is, wipe away the dust that has settled on it and you’ll find that Interior Ministry is a sparkling diamond of a record. A pure gem. It bristles with energy and purpose. There’s a wide range of dynamics but it leaves no stone unturned in knitting the various pieces together to make them sound cohesive and true. There’s honesty and truth bursting from its seams. Their previous efforts were worthy and always interesting but this is in a different class.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Jimmy Eadie was involved. He is the man with the Midas touch and the producer that pulled it all together. It sounds magnificent. The comfort of the garden shed was abandoned and band and producer decamped to a house in Galway with a 24-track mobile ProTools system. They brought back the goods. Eighty hours of material was whittled down into this magnificent hour of earthly delights. The story isn’t over. This dream is real.

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