Bobby Aherne and the rest of the No Monster Club crew are on a mission. Their resolution for the year seems to have been a thoughtful, gifting one. For on the first day of every month No Monster Club release a brand new single! Is it a big ask to keep that going and good? Not for No Monster Club; the only band I wanna be in. Here's why...
"No Monster Club is a slideshow of the grotesque and a gramophone of the absurd. Imagine Daniel Johnston representing Bora Bora at the Eurovision and finishing last"
- Bobby Aherne
Bobby Aherne, quite literally one of Ireland's most prolific song writers, never misses the mark when it comes to hyperbole. There's a metaphor for everything. So despite the flamboyancy and fairy tale like descriptions (seriously, who wouldn't want to see Daniel Johnston represent Bora Bora at Eurovision?), he and his group No Monster Club are preaching the extraordinary with their latest batch of tunes. One listen through this year's No Monster Club encyclopedia, and you'll blurt out my favourite, over-used descriptor. GENIUS. The whole thing sounds and seems like a whale of a time. Creating such a euphoric mood, isn't that just the best kind of band to be a part? Aherne thinks so...
"I have so much fun recording every song I make, and I never know which one is going to appeal to other people. It's always a nice surprise when one of them gets special attention, though. I'd love to know what the occasionally present magical ingredient was, so I could sprinkle it all over everything"
I've listened to the whole string of releases No Monster Club gift us on the first of every month, and so I'm gonna take a stab in the dark at finding that "magical ingredient". And that ingredient is...fun. The whole Monster catalogue is drenched in it. But it's fun without ever being novelty. Every song sounds as cool as the last, experimenting, but also utilising their unique band chemistry to create the ultimate bounce affect. It's impossible choosing where to start with No Monster Club, so lets concentrate on just two. Last month's single Faqir/Hex, and this month's Hiccup/Kalimanko.
You Are Here. This is a song that needs to be experienced. So put your coat on, head into the back garden when it's stormy out, stick this tune on, and enjoy. The ultimate 90's dance pop beat will greet you, with the perfect guitar accompaniment, and a chorus to singalong to n'all. It's a brilliant song. Then Kung Fu Buffet hits you. You'll think you're listen to Dr. Dog, but then you'll realise they haven't done anything this good for years. It's got to be No Monster Club. The lyrics grip, and again the chorus is just so cool. Epitomises the fun without novelty and another brilliant track.
"If you've never listened to music on a swing, you should give it a shot. There's no better feeling than when your swings are perfectly in sync with the rhythm. Try it with 'Hiccup' by They Shoot Horses Don't They. You'll get a thousand butterflies at the chorus. But yes, it'd be cool to play a gig at a funfair while everybody is on waltzers and stuff"
That was last month's gem. And this month's is just as good. Aherne's ideas continue to shine with Birthday Cake, proving that No Monster Club are comfortable with whatever they are playing. There's no real formula or style. Just look at the band's beach picture; organised chaos. There's no set plan for the music. Just fun, and what sounds right. Coincidental, then, that the real beauty on the release is called A Long Day At The Seaside.
Welcome to the sound of jungle beats, old cinematic strings and the cheekiest keyboard ostinatos in town. It's a marvelous theme that bounces along, and builds in rhythm and layers. Then, we find that magical ingredient Aherne is so determined to bottle. The perfect transition into beat, accompanied by the sound of ocean. We've arrived somewhere new. It's the same beat, but isolated and magnified, it takes on a whole new life. It's so brilliantly simple. And simply brilliant.
"We'll get around to doing more recordings together. It's been a few years since we did a band record, and the group has changed a lot since then. We did a charity cover of 'Remember You're A Womble', and I think that's pretty much it"