Hip-Neck Blues Collective – Millie
“…the Hip-Neck Blues Collective channel the cooler sounds of Ray LaMontagne and Leonard Cohen in many of these folky tracks…”
The Limrock scene continues in its glory, rivaling that of the capital, or indeed the real capital, of this emerald isle.
Moving away from the heavier sounds of Tooth and Giveamanakick, the Hip-Neck Blues Collective channel the cooler sounds of Ray LaMontagne and Leonard Cohen in many of these folky tracks, the harmonica lending a Louisiana vibe that belies their Shannonside roots while the soulful cello tracks from Damien Moore add accomplished sophistication. Frontman John delivers a blistering hip-hop vocal, with all the cynicism, confidence and crescendo of Zack de la Rocha, (indeed the band has roots in a Rage Against the Machine cover band known whimsically as Balls On Parade). The vocals get you nodding to the flow and give the sleepy blues tracks serious momentum.
Post Apocalyptic has the fantastic energy suited to an opening track, with plenty of bluegrass sounds, rocking acoustic riffs, and hard-hitting hip-hop. Devil’s Child has a captivating mix of this LaMontagne-style wheezy Southern blues and anarchic hip-hop. Vocalist John’s Limerick accent is refreshing and demonstrates confidence and assurance rare in such a new and young band. Coherence is difficult to achieve with such a mix of (clearly talented) musicians, and some of the slower tracks don’t quite work as the spoken word hip-hop becomes a little awkward. Love Song has some gorgeous acoustic guitar and cello tracks, but the slightly angry vocals are a little unsettling.
The EP gets progressively more laid-back and folky until the final Broken Man puts it to bed. Perfect for an end-of-the-night wind-down. Folk fans will definitely appreciate the Millie EP, while live audiences will groove to some decidedly fresh hip-hop.