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Live Review: A Loss For Words, This Time Next Year, Starters, and We’re Wolves - The Twisted Pepper, Dublin - 15/05/11

The Twisted Pepper is a venue situated in the heart of the City, a venue where in this miniscule, yet ambient setting, played host to a fabulous night of Pop-Punk – half displayed by the local talent, the other being that of it’s American counterpart. We’re Wolves are a relatively new band to the scene; however in this short space of time have already proven their capability, and have played a small number of impressive sets at local shows here in Dublin. Tonight’s set was quite enjoyable, certainly a nice kick start to a Sunday evening by anyone’s standards. If overlapping harmonies and gang vocals are your thing, then this six-piece are well worth your time of day to check out.

Starters probably drew in the tightest crowd of the night, and it is apparent that the Dublin scene highly regards this band as both friends and great musicians. There were constant singalongs, pit action and general good vibes taking place from the very beginning of the set, which included; 'Reasons To Stay', 'Geocache Girl', 'Hopeless But Devoted' along with 'Nowhere Else I’d Go' – which was the band’s very first time to play live. Starters recently released a new tape ‘Can I Borrow A Guitar?’ with both acoustic versions of songs from their 7” Reasons To Stay, along with many covers.

This Time Next Year were next up. This four piece Californian band certainly brought the energy to the forefront of the show. It was that jumpy, heart-felt sort of Pop-Punk that had everyone cast their full attention to singer Pete Dowdalls the entire show. His constant eye contact with everyone was the most notable thing I remember from their set. Highlight included their performance of ‘Alex In Wonderland’ along with general interaction with the crowd, and Pete highlighting the fact there was a Alan Garner (The Hangover) lookalike in attendance. The band is set to release their second full-length album in August entitled 'Drop Out Of Life'.

A Loss For Words kicked off their set with 'Where I’m From, You Die With Your Secrets' from the 2009 album 'The Kids Can’t Lose'. The Boston band, who have recently joined the Rise Records roster, certainly created a good impression with the crowd through their inspiring attitude and even better songs. It was not A Loss For Words’ first time to play here, as they made their debut in The Pint sometime late last year. This time round, the set namely consisted of tracks of the ’09 album including 'Stamp Of Approval', '40 Thieves' and 'Heavy Lies The Crown'. We were even treated to their rendition of 'My Girl', from the band’s 'Motown Classics' cover release of last year.

The set came to the halfway point, where things began to slow down as front man, Matty Arsenault explained the meaning behind 'Mt. St. Joseph', a poignant song about the tragic loss of a friend to drug overdose. "How many of you have lost a friend to drugs?" Asked Matty. "Well, in Boston it is a huge problem, and I wrote this song for a very dear friend of mine who lost his life to them." It was definitely a very emotional point of the show for the band and I think everyone in the room could feel the heartbreak throughout the song. The set finished with 'Hold Your Breath', as Matty launched himself into the crowd, entangling everyone in wire on his crowd surfing way. A great end to yet another fantastic show by Demented Promotions.

Laura-May Fox.

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