Free Music // Croupier – We, The System EP
Last week on Twitter I described Wicklow five-piece Croupier’s EP We, The System as being “like if Whipping Boy played jazzy math rock.”
As stabs in the dark go I’m fairly happy it stands up to scrutiny. The six-track EP (available free from Bandcamp) is all time and tempo shifts, subtle drum patterns, clean staccato guitar lines and thundering crescendos – your average math/post rock record, basically. However there’s plenty more nuance going on too: lush chord voicings and deceptively elegant, accentless vocals (courtesy of whom I’m not entirely sure), that break intermittently into a deep chesty rasp that would have Feargal McKee taking notice.
I’d been meaning to check out Croupier for a couple of months now, ever since I met one of the band members on a night out and shared about 4 minutes of conversation with him, during which he revealed he was in a band called Croupier and I should check them out. Looking at pictures of the band, I can’t remember which one it was, which is either a good sign or a fantastic indication of a night well razzed.
My only real gripe across the six tracks is that they perhaps try to mix things up a little too much. Closing track ‘Third Tier,’ in particular, sounds out of place against the more vibrant and changeable material that comes before it. And with four of the six tracks pushing well past the six-minute mark, there does seem to be some fat in there to be trimmed. For the big fat price tag of $0 it’s hard to be too critical thoug, considering it now costs €1.85 to get the bus and tempo changes on the bus tend to be of the more frustrating variety.
They’re minor complaints, though, and the overwhelming impression Croupier create on their debut LP is one of a band who’ve absorbed tonnes of contemporary influences (particularly those closer to home, like Redneck Manifesto) and added a very melodic, very graceful veneer all of their own. It’s a struggle to think of a band quite like them gigging in Ireland at the moment and that’s usually a sign that something good is afoot.