Thread Pulls
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Thread Pulls

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE
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"End of year album poll 2010 - no.15" - Nialler9 Blog

"New Thoughts Review"

Heavy on percussion, the group have honed their rhythmic edge into a surgical knife. Stark, effective bass lines (sometimes just two notes) complete the rhythmic picture, adding a muscle to the rigid bones of the drumming. There is a vaguely ritualistic feeling to the music, for example on "Starts/Ends," where the percussion dances around itself to create a cathartic and engaging sound. Gavin Duffy’s immediate bass playing drags the music from this weirdly transcendent place back to the dance floor.


Without naming names, there are many artists who spend their time perfecting the ultimate post-punk album, drawing their inspiration from albums recorded 30 years ago and adding nothing more than a superficial glossiness to ideas that were once revolutionary but are now just a historical reference. So few artists try and break away from the past to create their own sound. While in the past I have heard the echoes of Sonic Youth, Throbbing Gristle and PIL in the music of Thread Pulls but on New Thoughts these influences have been pulverised and converted into Peter Maybury and Duffy’s own vision.

Duffy’s vocals are the other main ingredient to Thread Pulls unique sound. Sometimes adopting an odd but bewitching falsetto, not unlike a bleaker version of The Tiger Lillies’ Martyn Jacques, Duffy cannot be accused of being a boring vocalist. On "Sink and Swim," his voice rises up through the music sharply, demanding my attention. Elsewhere he delivers the mantric lyrics in a more controlled fashion such as on "Joujouka Reminder" where all the elements of Thread Pulls’ sound come together perfectly: the beat and word fusing into each other.

Throughout New Thoughts, Thread Pulls repeatedly up their game and make their previous releases pale in comparison. All the elements that I liked about their music (the rhythms and instrumentation in particular) have been streamlined and improved, the end result being a very lean and focused album. I have not seen them live in a while but I will be doing my best to catch them as soon as I can because they are obviously riding on the crest of a wave of inspiration. - Brainwashed

"New Thoughts review (4/5)" - Hot Press

"Sightings: Thread Pulls, “Sink and Swim” & “Weight”"

In an email back-and-forth on the subject of hypnagogic pop, published in Fall 2009 on music critic/Volcanic Tongue founder David Keenan’s personal blog, Dan Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never and Games offered a compelling alternate name for the new “movement” Keenan had christened in the August issue of the Wire. In embracing the various iterations of pop musical kitsch they had grown up alongside in the ’80s and early ’90s, outsider musicians like James Ferraro and Spencer Clark were creating “noise without borders” — noise music that engaged in an open dialogue with the sounds it had previously excluded in its hermetic exploration of “sound” as material. The interview is no longer accessible to the public, but I remember Lopatin characterizing h-pop as a new, distinctly “feminine” alternative to the confrontational and unreflecting masculinity of pure noise, namely in that it allowed itself to be “penetrated” by other musical styles. Speaking historically, Keenan and Lopatin recognized the post-punk of the late ’70s and the early ’80s as another avant-garde moment that had allowed itself to be “penetrated” in this way, softening the resounding “no” that punk had pronounced to society into a more fluid stance that made room for dub, funk, and disco.

Dublin’s Thread Pulls, whom 20 Jazz Funk Greats spotlighted on Altered Zones a few weeks back, sound nothing like any of artists who founded or climbed their way into Keenan’s hypnagogic pop pantheon; in fact, seeing as our ears are pretty much glutted with cassette hiss and warped supermarket adagios at this point, they may even sound refreshing. Thread Pulls’ stripped-down, tightly-wound spin on post-punk is just as much a case for “feminine openness” as The Skaters or Oneohtrix, but it approaches this ideal from the opposite end of noise rock — purging where hpop oversaturates, refining and clarifying where hpop blurs. On their MySpace, Gavin Duffy and Peter Maybury confide in us that they are “only nearly a rock band, stripped back to a core of drums and bass”– though vocals, trumpet, and synths discover room in the equation as well. Little things start meaning a lot, the associations start flowing like crazy. A snappy note change in the bassline brings back James Chance and the funk he himself was bringing back (“Sink and Swim”); a twitch in the synth sounds vaguely arabesque, while also reminding us that ’60s psych was capable of swallowing anything (“Weight”). Thread Pulls swallow almost nothing, swallows it raw, and makes it sound like a full plate.

- Visitation Rights Blog (USA)

"Thread Pulls: "Weight""

You all know ATP, right? It’s a great festival for grunting men in white shorts music geeks, where age seems irrelevant. Old masters and young upstarts, punters and bands alike rub shoulders amidst the Carry On chalets of English holiday camps in faded-glory resorts.

Thread Pulls, unbelievably the only Irish band to have played ATP (at time of writing), echo the beat-within-noise aesthetic of minimalist Neubauten and the eerie rainfall of This Heat. When the rain pours and the wind blows in an English town inhabited by the ghosts of a romantic past, a young man's mind looks to the otherworldly glamour of places with names like Minehead or Bognor. There is nothing like a dead place that once shone like the brightest star. - Altered Zones blog (USA)

"New Thoughts review (5/5)"

Here we have a two-piece rock band stripped way, way back to the bass and drums with which they produce a very distinctive sound! That sound somehow seems to be very full, especially when other components are brought in, electronic squeaks & the odd thrash of a guitar. The initial comparison on the opening 'How to Talk' is of Liars mangled up with Cabaret Voltaire but its the second track where they really hit their stride, a fantastic Can/Silver Apples influenced rhythm driving it along - suddenly the drums burst out of the mix to superb effect while the vocals chant along, there's even the hint of a nearly catchy chorus. This is brilliant music, absolutely brilliant. Thread Pulls are the perfect soundtrack to driving around broken down industrial areas of Northern cities late at night, they recall some of the greatest bands to walk this sodden earth, apart from the afore-mentioned Liars and Cabaret Voltaire, This Heat, PIL, Throbbing Gristle, Joy Division, ESG, DAF all spring to mind at various points. For a contemporary reference there's also strong parallels with Factory Floor & to a lesser extent (an unpretentious) These New Puritans! Rhythmic, minimal compositions with a hint of darkness and fear underfoot, this ticks all the right boxes for me AND its recorded in Dublin for great sound quality. Joke courtesy of Dave. Always leave them with a joke, funny or otherwise.
- Norman Records (Leeds uk)

"New Thoughts review (4/5)"

They describe themselves as “nearly a rock band”, yet this Dublin duo are so much more. New Thoughts is spacious and primal, threaded with pirouetting vocal mantras and hypnotic gyrating rhythms. From this minimalism resonate all sorts of blanketing textures and thought- provoking musical ideas, the bass and drums aided with trumpet, synthesiser and mysterious vocal harmonies. Gavin Duffy’s wistful vocal on Starts/Ends weaves through Peter Maybury’s drilled beat-down with brilliant effect. New Thoughts is a receptacle for all sorts of musical history, from 1960s psych to taut post-punk and elemental disco and funk, yet never succumbs to any one ideal enough to derail this singular expedition. Joujouka Reminder pays homage to the Moroccan trance masters, albeit one fronted by a spluttering Mark E Smith. Closer No Sound brings this fantastically focused piece of work to a frenetic, screeching halt. See - Irish Times

"Album of the Week - Oct 2010"

Dublin’s thread pulls are a duo, stripped back to a core of drums & bass. Skewed grooves anchor their hypnotic proto-disco sound – kick-drum centred & sub-bass heavy. Roughly cut almost spoken vocals are layered with eastern trumpet-echoes & solar-synth-drones/stabs, bringing to mind early elements of future sounds. With echoes of Sheffield’s most prolific sound processers Cabaret Voltaire & the complex polyrhythms & repetitive dance styles of New York’s ESG. Imagine a ghostly echo of the Gang of Four’s ‘Entertainment’ with all the guitars removed, with a touch of Joy Division’s most funereal bass or A Certain Ratio’s most desolate moments & maybe a little of Scritti Politti. At the same time, it fits right in with current post punk minimalists Prinzhorn Dance School, These New Puritans or Liars. Spot on! “Like This Heat rearranging their twilight furniture for some spirit dancing” – 20 Jazz Funk Greats. - Resident Records - Brighton uk

"New Thoughts review (8/10)"

Dublin duo Thread Pulls’ strong debut album sets its stall out from the very start. A treated vocal chant gives way to tribal drumming, a haunted trumpet hook (in as far as Kraut referencing post-punk can do hooks) and Gavin Duffy singing for all the world like Mark E Smith’s Irish nephew over the whole urgent concoction. This is music in thrall to the idea of rhythm. Lead guitars? No chance; they’d be a flourish too far on an album that snakes through a poisoned undergrowth of drum, bass, and occasional chopped-up fragments of trumpet and synthesiser. On their Myspace page, Thread Pulls describe themselves as “nearly a rock band”. They fib. New Thoughts has enough going on in the deceptively minimal shapes of the likes of ‘Dead Heat’ and ‘Weight’ to have your average meat-and-two-veg five-piece sick with envy. Darragh McCausland - AU (Alternative ulster) magazine

"Ones to Watch - Thread Pulls - Innovative Irish duo"

This Irish duo that pack a big punch with a heavy and sparse minimalistic sound.

You might see Thread Pulls - the Irish partnership of Gavin Duffy and Peter Maybury - in the present day as a tight and precise two-piece outfit. But it hasn't always been this way and drums and bass were not the duo’s first instruments.

“It started off as a pretty regular three-piece,” explains drummer Peter. “Gavin was playing guitar and singing and I was playing bass and Ed [original drummer] was playing drums. We put out four EPs before Ed left and I just said, ‘Well okay, I’ll take drums’.”

Thread Pulls V2.0 is definitely a band that offers something different. Their debut album, ‘New Thoughts’, is full of sparse dynamics - near cymbal-less drums that are strong and intense and full of hypnotic and tribal tendencies mixed with a striking and prominent bass dominating throughout. It is also hundreds of miles away from their original incarnation.

“As the sound developed I started introducing electronic sounds and synthesizers,” Peter describes, “and then towards the end I was adding extra drum parts and Gavin was playing percussion and the sound gradually drifted away from normal three-piece into more abstract territory. It was practical because there were just the two of us and we thought ‘we’ll see how this goes’, because there’s a really good bit of energy between the two of us musically.”

It’s taken a few years of starting again from scratch but Gavin and Peter have created something far more interesting than your average rock three-piece.

Words by Max Raymond

Where: Dublin, Ireland
What: A hypnotic combination of drums and bass.
Get 3 songs: ‘Weight’, ‘How To Talk’, ‘These New Thoughts’
Unique fact: They are the only band from Ireland to have played ATP to date. - Clash magazine - uk


-‘New thoughts’ CD/LP - Osaka recordings 2010
-Patrick Kelleher ‘You Look Colder - Remixes’ CD - Osaka recordings 2010
-‘Fluorescent 3’ CDr - Ninepoint recordings 2006
-‘Fluorescent 2’ CDr - Ninepoint recordings 2006
-‘Fluorescent 1’ CDr - Ninepoint recordings 2006



Thread Pulls are part rock band, stripped back to a core of drums and bass. Skewed grooves anchor their hypnotic proto-disco sound - kick-drum centred and sub-bass heavy. Roughly cut vocal layers and eastern trumpet-echoes coupling solar-synth-drones bring to mind early elements of future sounds. Having acquired a considerable reputation for their raw, energetic live shows and limited EP releases, they released their debut album New Thoughts to critical acclaim at home and abroad on Irish independent label OSAKA recordings at the end of 2010, followed by extensive touring in Ireland, UK, Europe and Scandinavia.

With echoes of Sheffield’s most prolific sound processers Cabaret Voltaire and the complex polyrhythms and repetitive dance styles of New York’s ESG, New Thoughts gestated and grew from extensive live shows often in galleries and warehouses in Dublin.

Thread Pulls previously played the ATP festival in the UK at the invitation of Vincent Gallo. They have previous performed with No Age, Fuck Buttons, Chris Corsano, Cathal Coughlan and These Are Powers.

Tags: thread pulls osaka new thoughts post-punk dark mutant funk


'Optimo album of the month' - Monorail Music, March 2011

“(8/10)” - Clash Magazine

"..a sound as tight as a snare drum" - (8/10) - AU (Alternative Ulster)

"This is brilliant music, absolutely brilliant" - (5/5) - Norman Records (Leeds)

"One of Dublin's most consistently fascinating bands" - (4/5) Totally Dublin

"it's just simply FUCKING BRILLIANT!" - X-mist (Germany)

"As debuts go, New Thoughts is a stunner" - (4/5) - Metro magazine

"Like This Heat rearranging their Twilight Furniture for some spirit dancing" - 20 Jazz Funk Greats Blog

"Thread Pulls swallow almost nothing, swallows it raw, and makes it sound like a full plate" - Visitation Rites Blog

"..efficient rock-making machine of the future" - (4/5) - Hot Press

"..a fantastically focused piece of work" - (4/5) - Irish Times

“A very lean and focused album…they are obviously riding on the crest of a wave of inspiration.” - Brainwashed

“Imagine a ghostly echo of the Gang of Four’s ‘Entertainment’ with all the guitars removed- Resident Records Brighton (record of the week)

”Thread Pulls hew a hypnotic rock gem from a spartan foundation of drums, bass, arabesque synth flourishes”- Altered Zones blog

"....exhilarating, chilling listening" - (4/5) - Sunday Business Post

"...produce a ruckus that most bands could only dream about" - (4/5) - Hot Press