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The best kept secret in music


"Revere are Pick of '05 Crop"

Revere were the first band that this column got really excited about.

When I received their Untruth demo back in spring 2004, I knew here was a marker by which other CDs would be judged. The quartet have always been aloof from the rest of the Cork music scene so word-of-mouth about what sort of stuff they were working on was always going to be thin on the ground.

They finally emerged from their Inniscarra studio in the spring with the album Modern Science. It fulfilled all expectations.

Opening track Celebrity terrorist catches them at their haughty and best. The songs that resonate most strongly are The Hand That You Give and Modern Science, two dark and beautiful songs that mask their bile in the sort of melodies that Coldplay or Keane would trade in. They are what you migfht call crowd pleasers. Revere could bang out a couple more of these but the less immediate new material they have been trying out at recent gigs suggests that they're not going for the wave-your-mobile-in-the-air audience anytime soon. - Evening Echo

"Revere - Modern Science"

Bands that sought indie credibility have always shied away from being labelled windswept as it carried connotations of stadium straddling acts such as U2 or Simple Minds at the height of their pomposity. The term thankfully doesn’t apply to Revere but as one finds oneself in the baleful face of opening track Celebrity Terrorist, it seems that storm-blasted might be a more apt term to describe the majesty of the band in full flight.

Like a weightier Coldplay or Echo And The Bunnymen without the bombast, Revere excel in creating a brand of indie rock that could have arenas full of people punching the air. So insidious are the melodies to be found on Modern Science that people could miss the dagger sharpness of singer Jon Carroll’s oblique but biting lyrics.

Carroll’s tightly reined and controlled delivery reaches dizzying peaks on songs like The Hand That You Give and the title track while the band crank it up behind him. If the Strokes gave less of a damn about being cool, they’d be this good. - Cork Evening Echo

"Worship This"

The music scene in Cork has always been a very confusing thing. With great bands playing all over the city, and an equal quantity of crap following in their wake, it is very hard to see if it is all amounting to anything, and whether or not it is providing any real forum for success. Jon Carroll, lead singer with Revere, echoes these sentiments: “It’s a nice place to play here in Cork, we have had some great gigs here, and some great support. But it’s not really somewhere that allows you to become big. You are only fooling yourself if you don’t think you will have to go to Dublin, and hopefully beyond, someday.”

Carroll feels that the scene in Cork is somewhat parochial. “There are some really good bands here, but there is also a circle in this city, that is very hard to break into. And to be honest, I don’t really want to. Because you have to reach beyond these places to really truly make it, and not get caught up in back patting.” These guys have big dreams, apparently, and Cork is too small for them.

The history of Revere as a band is long and varied. Jon Carroll, John McLean, Gary Lucy and James O’Sullivan grew up in Cork. The band consisted originally of just the two Johns, but by the age of seventeen they had met with Gary and James in school, to form the band we know today. “We spent a lot of time not really focusing on the bad, but after a while I began to realise that we were actually okay, and that this was worth doing. John and I had written some crap in our earlier years, but once we met the other guys, things just kept getting better and better.”

And better is right. They were voted the Best Cork Band by the listeners of Cork’s 96 FM and Best Unsigned Cork Band by the listeners of RedFM after the release of their debut EP Progress. The radio single from this, ‘Untruth,’ was given some serious airtime on the aforementioned stations, and eventually reached the top of the most requested play list on RedFM’s award winning Irish rock show, Green On Red. With this wind in their sails, the band motored on and began to grow in both sound and depth, and finally all their effort culminated in the release of their new album, Modern Science.

To mark the launch of their album, this hugely talked about up and coming band held a gig in Cyprus Avenue on Thursday the 17th of this month. With resounding success, the CD was christened on its maiden voyage into the perilous waters that is the audience at large. To a huge turnout, the band played what Jon told me was “one of our best gigs ever, apart from a few monumental but unnoticed errors, at least by the audience.” This confidence in their sound could only have come from time spent perfecting it, and when I asked him about this, he was only too happy to explain how things had not always been that way. “Our first gig was at my brother’s 21st, through a tiny 50 watt amp, and our second, in the Lobby. They were fairly terrible, but what has been a feature of us is that we have improved every time we play. We are not perfect, but we never stop improving, and that is what really counts.”

Self improvement is a running theme for this Cork band. The four guys are a self-perpetuating machine, with the faint scent of success that wafts around all newer bands driving them on. Each member has a duty to fulfil beyond that of their obvious duties as musicians. Nicknamed by Jon as the mother of the band, drummer James O’ Sullivan acts as their manager. “He just decided one day that he would do it, that he could do it. And it’s worked out great so far, he really looks out for our interests.”

Following in suit, Jon himself, a graphic design student, is responsible for the album art, lyrics, voice and various other inputs into the band itself. Talking to Jon, you get a sense of pride coming from him that only comes from someone who has worked for what he has. “The very recording of our demos is done in our own recording studio. Mixing, mastering and even the printing and labelling of our first EP, Progress, were carried out by Revere Music Ltd, our own Record Label.”

This is quite unusual for a group that have reached some level of success, as parts of the band’s function are usually handed on to someone else. Although the newest album was mixed at Lab Studios in Adelaide, Australia and mastered at Trend Studios in Dublin, the recording itself began at Revere studios in June 2004. But they want the music to be their’s and they are not sharing. With such an emphasis on recording from group of twentysomethings, I asked him what was the most important facet of being in a band. Performance, or Publication? “I think it’s not that simple. We are at our best live a think, because the energy of our work comes across in the live setting much better. But that said, there is no point in taking yourself touring around Ireland before you have put your work down, and got something solid recorded and made a national, even international name first.”

It is easy to tell that music is serious business to these guys, and that they intend to follow through on the dream. Crucially, however, they know how to go about it. From raw guitar driven melodies, to lyrics with a deep and personal message, Revere are setting themselves up to be a band that will be taken seriously in the face of rising stardom. Influenced heavily by Morrissey, Radiohead and a myriad of other rock bands, Jon explained to me what their music is about. “I think the music needs to be honest. It needs to say something, and not get lost in pretending to say something. There is so much crap out there coined as deep and meaningful, but all it is doing is segregating people from art. Art should be about communication, and that can only happen if you allow yourself to be understood, the real you.”

With that said, I think it’s best to leave their album, Modern Science, speak for itself. In keeping with their do-it-yourself mentality, the album will be available to buy online in the near future on their website The site currently features a sample track from the album to download. All in all, it’s great to see a band really reach for the stars and try making something of it, and they deserve all our support. Now, one thousand words, and I even managed not to make some crappy pun about their name. I will be revered for that alone, I hope… - UCC Express

"Revere Rock Us"

The last time I’d seen a crowd this big in Cyprus Avenue was when a group of lads from the north came down about 18 months on a freezing October Friday night. I think they were called Snow Patrol or something. The band in question tonight is Revere. A guitar driven 4 piece based in Inniscarra. The audience, it seems, is made up of family and friends of the band. It could be a recipe for disaster, as no matter how well the band plays, you know they’re going to get a positive reception.

Tonight is the launch for their eagerly anticipated debut album Modern Science. The band, all in their early twenties, takes to the stage about 10.30 to a rapturous applause. I initially felt a bit apprehensive. They looked the part, had the support and the sound in the venue is always excellent, but did they have the songs?

Well, yes they bloody did as it happens.

They kick off tonight with the stirring Change. Immediately, lead singer Jon Carroll’s voice captures your attention. His voice has got a dark and melancholy fragility that distinguishes their sound straight away. They follow that up shortly with Celebrity Terrorist and Seizure Song. The latter is the latest single, and is 3 minutes of pure potent angst rock bliss, which sounds like a forgotten early Smiths song, while the latter is a more diverse rock song with doom-laden lyrics, think Radiohead, Pablo Honey era. Both songs performed impeccably and sounding more energetic than on the album. The band continues their intensity through the set, never letting up, even when performing piano led ballad like The Hand That You Give.

Each song is received ecstatically. Whether playing the rhythm guitar or the piano, the intensity in Carroll’s singing doesn’t let up from start to finish. Also, Revere sound a lot, and I mean a lot, more polished and professional than most bands at this stage of their career. The 13 song set lasts for just over an hour, fittingly ending with the title track from their album. Whether Revere go on to bigger and better things than tonight is up to the deep dark forces of the music industry. Tonight they’ve shown that they’ve covered their part of the deal. As well as having a batch of songs as good as any up and coming Irish band this year, they can also perform these songs live. Tonight a packed Cyprus Avenue witnessed this, who knows where we’ll see them next time…Savoy perhaps? Whatever happened to Snow Patrol after their Cyprus Avenue gig? ……. You never know! - Dropped Magazine

"The Band That Takes Full Control"

Within a couple of minutes of sitting down with Revere, I realise I am not in the presence of your average band. There's nothing part-time about this band, says drummer James O'Sullivan with conviction. Something happens with us every day. Everyday except Tuesday, corrects bassist Gary Lucy. Tuesday we rest. You get the impression that they would prefer not to but commitments with work and study conspire against them. Revere are an incredibly savvy band and have control over everything they do from recording to promoting. I wreckon the next time we talk to this band we will be giving them a full page. As it is, Revere are almost to big for a band apart an pretty soon will be too big for Cork. - Evening Echo

"Revere Band May Set Record"

They've just received a bunch of accolades - the title of 'best Cork band' from radio stations 96FM and Red FM; 'most requested song' on Colm O'Sullivan's Red FM Green On Red Show; as well as the number one and two slots in December and January respectively in O'Sullivan's Evening Echo chart list. And since the beginning of February, four-member band Revere has been in talks with New York Record Label Island, who's manager has asked for our CD. He's looking at it at the moment, and he's asked us to record another few songs, which we have to give him by the end of the month. Right now, we have the head down trying to record new songs, says Inniscarra boy James O'Sullivan, who is the drummer with Revere. The other members all hail from Ballincollig: singer John Carroll, who plays rhythm guitar, lead guitarist John Mclean and bass player Gary Lucy.

The quartet formed the band when - apart from John Mclean, who attended Farranferris - they were all students at Ballincollig Community School in 1994. Since then, they've been practising four nights a week in James O'Sullivan's bedroom, which was converted into a full home studio last year. We're still getting our heads around it. We record everything in my bedroom. We use a software platform called Protools, along with an eight - track mixer and a full AKG mike set for the drum kit. It's completely our own music - from the whole production of the CD and the recording down to the label on the CD, it's our own manufacture. Before, we just played gigs. Now we're producing CDs of quality which could be played by any radio station. John Carroll writes the songs and the bones of the music as well. It's democratic from there on - we sit down and contribute our part, drummer and bass and so on, says James, who is studying Business Information Systems at UCC, while Gary, 20, is a UCC music student, John Carroll, 20, is studying Graphic Design at CIT and the youngest John Mclean - 20 in January - is serving his time as a plasterer. Revere's influences are bands such as The Strokes, and Radiohead.

"We don't like to label our music. Ashley Keating - drummer with the famous Cork band Frank and Walters - was at our gig in Cyprus Avenue and he said on radio that ours is a completely unique sound”, says James. - Irish Examiner

"Best Cork Band on RedFM and 96FM"

Presented by Colm O’Sullivan, Green on Red is the soundtrack to what’s up and coming on the Irish music scene. On Sunday the 11th of January Revere earned the award of "Best Cork Unsigned Band" for 2003 on the Green On Red Show hosted by Colm O'Sullivan. The major Irish Radio Station announced the title after Revere had proved to be the most requested cork band on the famous show. This title of "Best Cork Unsigned Band" comes after Revere just received an award from another major Irish radio station, Cork's 96fm as being the best Cork Band of 2003 after the Green Room's listener pole.

The Sunday night show hosted by Colm O'Sullivan has received numerous awards as being one of the best Irish music shows in Ireland. Revere's name now lies with a number of other well-known acts that received titles on Red FM - The Frames, Woodstar, Bell X1, and Simple Kid. Voted “Best Cork Band 2003” by Corks 96FM

With a predominant focus on a spiralling Irish music scene, The Green Room is the show to listen to if you want to hear the latest and the best of what 21st century Ireland has to offer. On Saturday 27th of December 96fm's Green Room Show announced their Best Cork Band for 2003. Revere proved to be the most requested and liked Cork band by the listeners to Corks 96fm. Revere's popularity has grown enormously along with the demand for the Album due soon. The show is hosted by well-known Cork presenter and DJ Michael Carr an is listened to by all interested in the best that Cork can offer. - REDFM

"Revere Us (July 2006)"

"Stepping out to a 5000 capacity crowd at the Marquee to support a genuine rock-god/star/living-legend in the guise of one Robert Plant is beyond an ideal scenario. Taking all this into consideration one would be correct to assume that the Cork indie-rockers Revere are presently on the up and up."

So whats next for Revere? Super rock stardom! - Cork Independent

"Cork Bands' gig of Reverence"

Ballincollig band Revere are certainly proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Earlier this month the band supported the legendary rock icon Robert Plant as part of the Live at the Marquee series of concerts.

The group have founded their own recording studio in Inniscarra, Cork, which they have been putting to good use. O'Sullivan who is from Inniscarra, informs me that his band built the studio over the past two years. He states "We are right in the middle of recording stuff now for an EP because we are aiming ourselves straight into record labels at this stage and trying to get spotted if we can. It's just about the music when it comes to our band." - Evening Echo


1. Released 'Progress' EP in 2004.
2. Single 'Untruth' (No. 3 on redFM charts)
3. Released Self Recorded LP 'Modern Science' in 2005 on iTunes and CDBaby


Feeling a bit camera shy


"If the Strokes gave less of a damn about being cool, they’d be this good." Don O'Mahony EVENING ECHO

"They've just received a bunch of accolades - the title of 'best Cork band' from radio stations 96FM and Red FM; 'most requested song' on Colm O'Sullivan's Red FM Green On Red Show; as well as the number one and two slots in December and January respectively in O'Sullivan's Evening Echo chart list." Helen O'Callaghan IRISH EXAMINER

"From raw guitar driven melodies, to lyrics with a deep and personal message, Revere are setting themselves up to be a band that will be taken seriously in the face of rising stardom." Peter Power UCC EXPRESS

"As well as having a batch of songs as good as any up and coming Irish band this year, they can also perform these songs live. Each song is received ecstatically." Gary Kelleher DROPPED MAGAZINE

"In the past year Revere have been recognised as the next big thing." Tom Butler EVENING ECHO

Revere came together as students in secondary school in 1997 and quickly started playing as a group around the clubs and venues of their home city of Cork. All four share a passion for music, and a determination to create a distinctive style. Consisting of Jon Carroll (voice, piano, guitar), John Mclean (guitars), Gary Lucy (bass) and James O’Sullivan (Drums), the bands raw, driven sound soon found favour with the local crowds. Under the influence of real greats like The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen and Pink Floyd, Revere are steadily gathering a fan base the length and breadth of the country.

Following the release of their EP Progress in 2004, Revere were voted Best Cork Band by the listeners of Cork’s 96 FM and Best Unsigned Cork Band by the listeners of Red FM. Revere backed up this success with numerous gigs around the country that included playing to 1200 people at The Cork Opera House. More recently Revere played the Spielgeltent in Corks City centre and also supported the great Robert Plant in the Marquee on July 5th 2006 to a sell out crowd.

Recording of their debut album, Modern Science, began at Revere studios in June 2004. It was mixed at Lab Studios in Adelaide, Australia and mastered at Trend Studios in Dublin. Modern Science was released on the bands own label, Revere Music Ltd., to widespread acclaim sparking record label interest.

Revere have recently received the title of Best Cork band of 2005 by the listeners of Red FM.