single review ~ abandcalledboy ~ 'cliff richard'

Since their first introduction to an unsuspecting public more than four years ago, Belfast's 'Abandcalledboy' have lived by the mantra of heavy riffs, big hitting sound and an admirable attitude to play every gig like it may be their last. As such, the power trio have (in reality very little time) worked their way into the capital cities hearts as one of our funnest and most energetic outfits. With such a reputation being carried to each gig and anticipated new release, perhaps we should be surprised by the raw genius and beautifully original concept behind their latest single, 'Cliff Richard', but, to be quite honest, we're not. Encore NI couldn't wait to delve a little deeper into the thoughts and meaning behind a single that in many ways simply had to be written.

Reading like a day dream from the mind of a desperate, lonely and intoxicated failing comedian, Abandcalledboy's latest single bares all the hallmarks of a lunatics fantasy. Take one 73 year old, 60's pop, Christian pin up. Consider the length of time and considerable detail involved in a career spanning over 50 years, 3 Brit Awards, a Knighthood and more gigs around the planet than The Beatles. Add to that mix one of Northern Ireland's most exciting 'fun time power trio's' and you have the makings of something rather special indeed. It's true that the concept alone behind the first single from Abandcalledboy's eagerly awaited second EP (the superbly named 'Self-Titled EP') is enough to immediately turn heads and intrigue the masses. Anyone who already knows of the bands heavy roots and menacing rock songs will be aware of the irony and genuine fun behind a single about the UK's most mild mannered pop superstar, indeed, this was perhaps part of the thought process behind it's A-side status. It is fun, it is wonderfully ironic and the accompanying video is a work of sheer genius. Though one question still remains, is the track actually any good? Thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes. From the opening riff, it's clear that 'Cliff Richard' is the pile-driving tubthumper necessary for Abandcalledboy's energetic live shows. The overdriven, fast paced guitar sounds straight out of the song book of a Bleach-era Nirvana, channeling angst and commitment into every gravely vocal delivery. What singer (and drummer - Yes, somehow that is possible) Ryan Burrowes lacks in range, he makes up for in sheer power housed passion. Throughout this heavy bombardment of noise, there remains some lines of lyrical brilliance. Within just over four and a half minutes of rock induced carnage, it is claimed that Cliff Richard is 'the messiah', 'will never die' and through his 50's pop ballads 'the world shall be free'. 

Lyrics aside, the track has a captivating ebb and flow, showcased perfectly at the middle eighth's quieter verse. Accompanied only by a lightly strummed distorted guitar, 'I've got no place to go, my life couldn't be moving any slower' is a welcome break from the barrage of sound, allowing Abandcalledboy to burst back into life as seamlessly as a Biffy Clyro live show, complete with perfectly executed break down to boot.

Would Mr Richard approve? Probably not. Though no one can deny that the day the great man himself writes a crooning, cheese covered retaliation pop song about Abandcalledboy will be one of Northern Ireland's greatest musical achievements. You're up Cliff, don't let the side down.

Taylor Johnson

If you like... Nirvana | Biffy Clyro | The Jesus Lizard ~ you'll love Abandcalledboy

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& Watch the official video for 'Cliff Richard' here⁞►

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