Altered Hours: Convertible – Impressive pounding for the ears

Fri, Oct 22, 2021, 05:00



Altered Hours

Pizza Pizza Records


It’s when Love You, the fourth track on Convertible, lunges at you with little or no regard for your safety that you realise Altered Hours mean business. Wrapping up shared histories of The Ramones, Jesus & Mary Chain, Buzzcocks and a few more besides, the Cork band settle into their second album and put their flawed 2016 debut (In Heat Not Sorry) to bed with a hot water bottle and a Lemsip.

There is a marked difference between the two albums, not least being the decision to take charge of their music by self-engineering/producing in a Cork hinterland studio space. In fairness, highlighting Love You as the pick of the bunch is slightly misleading. It may be the most immediate throat-grabber but there are equally assertive sonic thrills elsewhere.

Underpinned quietude

Years is one of those gossamer-light tunes that threatens to explode but holds its breath, the quietude underpinned by a slowly fading repetitive guitar line.

All Amnesia harks back to Slits/Raincoats atonalities that are further pressed home by co-lead singer Elaine Howley. You Are Wrong pitches chaos against calm, with Howley and co-lead singer, Cathal MacGabhann, serenading (no less) amid a fusion of trenchant guitar and buzzsaw melodies. Thistle, meanwhile, forces you to pay attention with snagging riffs and Howley’s memorable, melancholic voice. It all amounts to an impressive pounding of the ears by a band for which only good things are ahead.