ALBUM REVIEW: Makings – ‘Cognition’

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Artist: Makings

Release: Cognition

Release Date: 20/02/15

Record Company: Unsigned

It is difficult to walk around Dublin these days and not find a live band in some pub or another banging out the same sounding alternative rock and not thinking to yourself that you’ve heard this all before! Ireland has been rehashing the same old, same old musical trite for years with varying musical success and a lot of musical failures. It’s music scene is very circular in nature and doesn’t react kindly to change. In fact, in some cases it doesn’t know how to react to ‘NEW’ sounding bands, with new musical ideas! Makings are one of those ‘NEW’ bands that are changing the perceptions of Irish music, not only on the live scene, but with the songwriting and soundscapes that the band are creating in the studio. With wide musical influences coursing through every single track, the band have a canny knack of sounding relevant, but a new relevant!

Having recently finished up recording their debut album ‘Cognition’ and then managing to get one of the top producers in England, Chris Potter, who has previously worked with The Verve, Blur & The Rolling Stones, to pick over the production details, the band have been working tirelessly on the live circuit, perfecting their sound to hopefully catapult themselves skyward and breathe new lifeblood into the Irish music Scene and its fans.

On first listen to the Dublin based four piece’s debut album ‘Cognition’ you can hear what they’re trying to achieve. It is packed full of influences and, yes, it shows off the bands diversity in song writing and song structure but it also shows that these guys actually listen to their musical influences and they take on board what is needed to connect all of these influences together to make something interestingly ‘NEW’ sounding which is a very difficult thing to do these days. I can hear 70’s Bowie and T-Rex  in all its Glam Rock finery, 80’s Depeche Mode with their electronic drums and Synths, theres’s 90’s Creation Records experimental layered guitar sounds in there with new millennium Primal Scream pulsing through its veins! Theres also a nod to the modern day Dance Music Scene with the bands brilliant use of sequencers and samplers and the bands use of vocal harmonies, both in their live sets and in the studio, are second to none! Every member of the band sings on this album! Put simply, it has something for every single music fan, but it stands outside the box on its own merits too. Very few bands can say that in the modern Irish music scene. Which is something great and ‘NEW’ in my opinion.

The first track on ‘Cognition’ is iClone. Opening with a distinct, infectious Synth pattern, this track is the bedrock of the album and sets Makings Electro-Rock stall up with an assault on your senses from the off. The vocal arrangements by the band on this album are amazing and lead vocalist; Rick Burn’s vocal range is immense. You can hear why his vocal style has been compared to the brilliant lead singer from ‘Faith No More’, Mike Patton. But it’s the bands clever use of sequencers and keyboards, just sitting under the mix, that catch this listener’s ear. This is a welcome theme running right the way through ‘Cognition’ and should hold the band in good stead going forward. It’s very different to what’s going on in Ireland at the minute. It’s ‘NEW’, ingenious even? But this type of sound only works when you have accomplished musicians to carry the production either live or in a studio setting and Makings have them in spades. From Drums to Guitars, Bass and Keys, every section of the band knows exactly what they are doing at any given time and are hard working. That’s the difference.

You can pick any one of the tracks on this album and not find a flaw. Maybe that’s down to the production work of Chris Potter, maybe it’s down to the band, but it works for me. I love the distinctive influential sounds that you can pick out of each track. For example, my favourite track on the album is ‘Heart Attack’. A well-written and well-executed electro-rock tune that I can instantly relate to. I can hear Dépêche Mode and early Acid House style sequencing, albeit slowed down, all over it. Likewise on the bands latest single ‘DIG’, where again the band’s clever use of electronic instrumentation, with a steady drumbeat, pulsing bass, charging guitars and Rick Burn’s distinctive vocal style coming to the fore take the track by the scruff of the neck and force you to listen. In fact, you can listen to them all – Lunatic, Let’s Touch Me, 46a, Man On Fire, Suffocate, She’s Got The Lips, Mythomania, Icarus, The Woolgatherer, Nazarene and No Turning Back and I can guarantee that you to will hear different influences and styles from different era’s screaming back at you. It’s exciting to hear an Irish rock band doing something different. Not pigeon holing themselves in the ever-decreasing cyclical nature of Irelands music scene. This is a completely new animal for the Irish music buying public to get their teeth into and I for one hope that they do. I hope they support a band like this because in turn this will allow Makings to soar to the heights that I know they can go and I wish them well on their travels.

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Keep your ears and eyes out for them, go and see them live whenever you get the chance, because they wont disappoint you.

You can follow the bands progress on Twitter & Facebook  and check out two tracks by the band below:

Makings – Dig

 

Makings – Heart Attack

 

Makings are a Dublin based electro-rock band comprising of two Irish men, Rick Burn and Mr Reynolds, a Scott, Barry Shock and an Argentinean, Raul Marcos. After recording their debut EP ‘Lunatic’, which received “Full marks for exploring so far outside of the box” (Jackie Hayden, Hot Press) and proving to be “Extremely powerful in a live environment” (Shane Buckley, Music Review Unsigned) Makings embarked on the collaboration with legendary producer Chris Potter (The Verve, Blur, Rolling Stones) and ‘Cognition’ was born. This is a stunning piece of work by an Irish band that deserves respect.

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