Cian Nugent – Grass Above My Head/My War Blues 7″

May 7, 2012

Cian Nugent is an Irish guitar player whose music I’ve only recently discovered but have absolutely fallen in love with. There is something so utterly compelling about his slow, bleak guitar work that intrigues me. He creates desolate soundscapes using intricate, finger picked guitar lines to lead us through them. It’s both beautiful and haunting at the same time.

After the brilliant debut LP Doubles, he has brought out a new 7″. Titled Grass Above My Head/My War Blues it features one new track as the A side, with the B side being a cover of Black Flag’s My War.

The first track, ‘Grass Above My Head’ has a slightly more positive feel than the tracks heard on Doubles, but it still has that sparse arrangement ever present throughout his music. Let’s just call it beautifully bleak. While it only runs for about a quarter of the time of the songs on Doubles, it still manages to pack the same punch. There’s just something about the empty, isolated guitar work that just makes it feel so personal. When I listen to it I can just imagine listening him play in a crowded bar and as soon as he plays the first note, the room is consumed by silence and admiration. The second track, ‘My War Blues’ is a completely different take on the dissonant punk song Black Flag gave us. It’s  a really fresh re working and I think it’s nice to see someone trying to give a completely different angle on covers, rather than just making a plain copy. I think the fact that he makes it sound completely different from the original version gives credit to his talent. Even if it wasn’t a Black Flag cover, I think I’d still love it.

Judge for yourself though, ‘My War Blues’ is streaming on soundcloud now.

 

Anyway, the 7″ is out now on the wonderful VHF Records. I suggest you pick up a copy and while you’re there get yourself a copy of his debut LP Doubles if you haven’t heard it yet because it’s incredible.

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