STREET SOUNDS: Irish band isn’t green around the gills

The Dublin rock trio, Kopek (Daniel Jordan, vocals and guitar, Shane Cooney, drums, and Brad Kinsella, bass) has worked together for a decade.

Their debut album, White Collar Lies, contains vital ingredients for exciting rock music: edge and desperation.

Those qualities are some of the elusive elements needed for the distillation and alchemy in recorded rock music that connects at a basic level.

Other characteristics (passion, song-craft, melodies etc) can enhance the experience, but the bite and the soul bring the presence.

There ain’t nothin’ like some sturm and drang in the mix.

Kopek brings on the storm and tracks like Love is Dead and Fever are welcome kicks of reality in a music scene that suffers from ongoing corporate hangover and creative washout and conformity.

The former song is a litany, a roll call of desires: fads, musical trends, drugs of choice, dead heroes, etc. As threatening and jaded as the song sounds, it comes off as a lament for integrity and the good things in life. It’s a song that seems important because of its intense sound and straight-ahead clarity; a sinuous riff and rapid-fire jugular vocals. It’s  basically an anthem, and Jordan’s voice tears through the sound like a razor.

White Collar Lies is built solidly around this and unforced, hard-driving tracks like Love Sick Blues.

The album is all about the delivery of vocalist Jordan and the forceful play of the trio.

If the band followed the lead of dirt-rock auteurs Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Jack White and added or kept the all important atmospheric noise, they’d be at another level altogether.

–– Dean Gordon-Smith is the music reviewer for The Morning Star. His column appears every Friday.