This intriguing debut from Dublin-based Meltybrains? has been many years in the making, and somehow they have managed to translate elements of their exciting live dynamism to create a very singular musical statement. This is partly an “exploration of what it means to be a young man in Ireland in the 21st century”.
That exploration is more of an immersion, hidden in the many wonky sonic flourishes that fly around the Meltybrains? universe, from the slightly sad and sinister tone of I Haven’t Got a Clue, to the frantic guitars on the squelchy A Journey to/from the Meltyworld. There are nods to garage rock on Yes Man, and the clank and clatter of Ease that Mind strangely does.
Space Ghetto, with its manipulated vocals and elegant strings, almost glows in its radiance, and Bitten by the System is a rush of curio. In fact, all the songs share this eccentric quality – with Listen to Me as a real highlight, sounding like it has been recorded down a barrel, it is a mixture of nightmare and fairy-tale, which is pleasingly bizarre. There is a gorgeous strictness to the vocals on Alone With Buddha, that then kind of dissolves, and stretches and curls. All the interludes are compelling in their peculiarity, like Ghost Box-meets-Sigur Rós, uniting to write a score to a Peter Strickland film that has yet to be made. Wonderful.