by Alex Millar

Trumpets of Jericho are a band that need to be talked about. Not in a long while has a band come out of Ireland that is so profoundly eccentric. They’ve just released their debut album, ‘Songs Like an Alum Ut It’s Nor Really’. And that’s not a typo. It’s just another example of the eccentricity and humour of the Trumpets.

For all that humour, you would hope that they have the tunes and ability to back it up. Luckily, they do.

On the face of it, Trumpets’ debut release is as off kilter as the rest of their persona. But with a bit more appraisal and an open ear, the music has an impressive depth. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the lyrics and in particular on the track Paddy’s Revolt.

It’s essentially a satirical track. It plays on the nature of Ireland at the moment; it’s culture and the practice of activism. “I won’t be sold another corporate rebellion…I want to smash your windows and I want to go to jail.” Lyrics like this are almost ‘punky’ when looked cold on a page like this, but the delivery is far more tongue-in-cheek. In fact, this is the quality that pretty much defines the band’s lyricism.

Further on in Paddy’s Revolt we get further parodies. “Flights to Inchicore, I hear they’ve got the county’s finest Ethnic stores,” and “If I don’t call, tell my children…that though I love them, they cost too much to feed.” Again, there’s a punk aesthetic to the lyricism, but not to the performance. The song shambles along, at times almost falling apart, and the combination of the music and lyrics here is just expert; its stand out track on the album.

As for the rest of the release, the content is very strong. The production is noticeably DIY, and while home production often sends shivers down this reviewer’s spine, here it is entirely warranted, if not preferred. Tracks like ‘Nothing To Get Up For’ and ‘Uh’ stand out, as does the instrumental ‘Pulsaang’. The song quality drifts away a little towards the end of the album, with the better tracks weighted towards the front but given the strength of the songs, they can be forgiven for that.

Trumpets of Jericho are a complete work of art, and they’re very close to perfection in their genre. And then there’s their live show. Arriving on the stage each evening, the band’s front man is donned in torn vintage wear and comes attached to a battered guitar. Their bassist stands stoically in the cover, barely moving. Their keyboardist jags awkwardly behind a bank of synthesizers. Their left-handed drummer flails about, almost missing drum hits and looking very much like he hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing. But they’re very aware of what they’re doing. The effect is unsettling for onlookers with a musical background, shocking for those that don’t, and utterly enjoyable for all.

There isn’t much more to be said about Trumpets of Jericho. Their debut, ‘Songs Like an Alum Ut It’s Nor Really’ is very quickly proving to be one of the more intriguing releases to have come out of Cork in a very long time.