Album Review: We Cut Corners – ‘Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards’

Posted: 14/11/2011 in Uncategorized

***As published on Entertainment.ie on November 11th 2011***

Dublin schoolteachers John Duignan and Conall O’Breachain, better known as We Cut Corners, are without a doubt one of the most intriguing acts on the Irish music scene at the moment. In theory – short songs played on just drums and guitar; in practice – SO much more. We Cut Corners have taken a cleverly astute approach at garnering attention in the run-up to the release of this their debut album Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards. An eye-catching trio of music videos for advance singles ‘Go Easy’, ‘The Leopard’ and ‘A Pirate’s Life’ all caused quite a stir online, featuring heavily on the blogosphere and receiving endless praise from the Irish music Twitterati. The band also gave one of the stand-out performances of Hard Working Class Heroes weekend, completely captivating the Button Factory audience tasters of what to expect from the album… and, thankfully, it has been worth waiting for.

What is so intriguing about this band is the variety they offer in spite of the instrument limitations – the stripped back approach doesn’t hinder, but instead compliments and allows their impressive vocal abilities to shine. The formidable first single ‘Go Easy’ makes an early appearance in the track-listing – the juxtaposition of the duo’s harmonies against enthralling instrumentation completely mesmerising. ‘A Pirate’s Life’ offers the first taste of the more tender side of We Cut Corners, before the ferocious sound of ”The Leopard’ is unleashed. The lone guitar backing of ‘Dumb Blonde’ makes for a beautiful lament, whereas in contrast they really rock it out on ‘Say Yes To Everything’ and ‘Toll Free’. The gradual build of ‘Yet’ is sublime; but it’s the impossibly charming ‘The Male Mind’ which manages to stand out on an album from which it’s quite hard to single out a favourite.

The much-anticipated Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards lives up to its hype, and then some. It’s concise, to say the least – clocking in at just under 27 minutes in its entirety – but We Cut Corners make every second of it count, and the album flows fantastically from beginning to end. Brilliant melodies, insightful anecdotal lyrics, and impeccable dual vocals – it’s one of the top Irish releases albums of 2011.

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