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Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | SELF

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | SELF
Band Alternative Rock




"The Summit Bandslam"

The next band taking to the stage opened up things in a big way. But in a proper way too it has to be said. KEROUAC take their name from Jack, but they could have easily called themselves after Jack the Ripper the way they tore the stage to shreds tonight. They laid siege to it and laid it bare with their music. An excellent and outstanding set from this band that made you realise metal is far from dead in Ireland. “She’s The Sky” opens on some impressive guitar playing and then the rest of the song explodes after that.

The consistency to the music here too doesn’t alienate the listener, which is an important thing to note. This is metal we are talking about after all, but the scene in Ireland is currently rich in top acts and this has been shown recently with Dublin based band XEROSUN getting signed last month. People are looking in on it at long last, and there are reasons for this. On stage tonight was one of those reasons. This was not a bunch of amateurs screaming into a microphone –this was a band that plays like a band. And on this song the closing off of things by the way it drops off just brings a fusion to the whole thing.

“Holy Blood, Holy Grail” has a subtle undertone that kind of plays like “Sabotage” by THE BEASTIE BOYS, and to use a phrase “this one goes to eleven”. It brings it to the table right here and the bridge has a lot going on too. Leaves the bass to stand out and shine, then shares the spotlight and lets the guitar come in and do its thing too. I was very impressed with this and right here is the band giving a good account of themselves here.

Then closing song “My Exploding Chest” happens to be the pinnacle in this astonishing set. There is a bounce from the guitar that the song opens on and then holds with the vocal in the build up to the intro. I like the way the pace first of all comes together, then how it fits and then how it sounds. It closes down for a part of the song and then the intro coming back into things is a second coming. A well deserved A+ here for effort. The song has so much impact, and combined with the stage presence, the band didn’t just knock our socks off – they knocked it out of the park. The below quote sums up how these guys put everything into it up there on the stage tonight. A really brilliant live set from start to finish.

“All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the less of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it” – MOBY DICK, Herman Melville.

MRU Magazine - MRU Magazine

"What this band brings to their performance is unbelievable"

The sheer energy that this band brings to their performance is unbelievable, it’s enough to rival any straightedge hardcore band (go see Converge to be blown away by the unhinged energy of 34 year old singer Jacob Bannon!).

Kerouac waste no time and lay straight into their fiery set. Aaron, guitarist and singer possessing a natural ferocity to his voice that would make Liam Cormier jealous. Add to this, the unmistakable bite of a humbucker equipped Stratocaster and you’ve already got a damn powerful sound in the making.

They keep the stage for a good ten song set. I cannot say for certain who the band’s major influences are but I’m going to venture a guess at Deftones for one. Their material has a very 90’s sound about it, which is actually quite refreshing to hear if you’re in and around my age (whatever that may be), certainly the sharp guitar tones echo Deftones, albeit on a 6 string guitar. The band has tremendous dynamic control, shifting from hard to soft, clean to dirty and intense to subtle with ease. All three members also have beards, which is always the first sign of a good rock band (this hypothesis was proven to be scientific fact after Red Fang’s performance at Hellfest this year). Bassist, Keith, has himself a mighty beard indeed: a lengthy fellow that would be even more fitting if Keith worked on a 19th century whaling ship.

The band mix it up with their song writing with tracks ranging from short and angry, such as third song ‘Hail The Fire’, to protracted and complex, the only common thing being the 100% energy either way. Drummer, Richie, gives his cymbals no rest, certainly towards the end of the set which was shorter than expected because Richie managed to break through the skin of the bass drum!

Forth song in, Aaron breaks out some serious vocal gymnastics that wouldn’t go amiss in Iwrestledabearonce. His wandering left leg is something to behold too! Kerouac are a band that demands the end of the night, the drunken hours, the stage of the night where people loose their nut, this is one band to catch at a headlining gig! Having said that, they did not disappoint playing first this night. - Born Again Nihilist

"Brilliant Dublin Rock Trio"

The second act of the day comes from Dublin and represent the most friendly country in our continent: the republic of Ireland. Probably the heaviest band so far. A mix of heavy riffs and tricky drum patterns made this, a very gripping set. At times reminding us of Biffy Clyro they went from solid, intense parts to more quiet sections reading from the book of modern rock songwriting. A Trio with so much full brimming sound deserves admiration and that I’ll give them. A super Tight set with great vocals. Thank you Ireland! - Emergenza


Ep Heavier Than Heaven's Red Sun 2006

Ep Kerouac 2010



Kerouac (Aaron Gaffey on guitar and vocals, Keith O’Neill on bass and Richie Mason on drums) are a Dublin-based, post-hardcore rock band. They have been active on the Irish music scene since their formation in 2003, when all three met at college.

Keith O’Neill grew up in Kilkenny, and Richie Mason was born in England and raised in Wexford. Both have recently relocated to Dublin, joining longtime Dublin resident Aaron Gaffey. This was the beginning of a new, fervent period of gigging and song-writing, during which Kerouac’s sound, which had always pushed creative boundaries, rapidly evolved. Combining an eclectic mix of influences, ranging from Led Zeppelin and The Beatles through to Deftones, 36 Crazyfists and Queens of the Stone Age, Kerouac temper their aggressive, innovative, riff-based sound with a keen ear for subtle hooks and melodies. Combining their dedication to polished, technical musicianship with raw, unbridled passion, Kerouac are renowned for their wild live performances and ability to connect with their audience.Kerouac are the Irish Emergenza Festival 2011 Winners.