Mastering the art of sound sculpture


TRAILING rave reviews for their second album Horsedrawn Wishes, Dublin band Rollerskate Skinny ventured out onto the Mean Fiddler stage last night, eager to see if their meticulous soundscapes could be reconstructed within a short, hour long set. They almost succeeded, and sometimes you could feel the ears prick up as the band hit on a particularly interesting ideas.

From the first rumbling bass line, Rollerskate Skinny went for an aural assault, and it was up to the gentle listener to discern the almost classical melodies from the fog of subsonic sounds and towering drum beats. Swab The Temples seemed like hard, work but new song, Goodnight Diamond, had a certain gothic flair. 1000 Cooples was almost accessible, but the coupling of choral refrains and hard, industrial grind proved too Bauhaus for comfort.

Rollerskate Skinny have mastered the art of sound sculpture, but they sacrifice the nebulous immediacy of a gig in search of the perfect sonic shape. Ken Griffin's vocals provide the missing link between Joy Division's Ian Curtis and New Order's Bernard Sumner, while the guitars of Ger Griffin and Brian Sinnott splay deep colours all over the canvas, creating a relentless noise of art. Stephen Murray's bass and Clive Carroll's drums frame the entire work in concrete.

Just as the crowd was beginning to get the picture, a disturbance forced the gig to be cut short.