A couple of firsts on here: this is the debut album from Irish band Grit, and on a new French label U.A. Records which has ties to the marvellous Une Vie Pour Rien Vinyls. If you’re familiar with UVPR you’ll know they specialise in bands based in oi! and streetpunk, but tend to push the boundaries of those genres, and Grit are no exception. The album plays out as a soundtrack to the challenges of growing and living in modern Ireland.
Songs deal with austerity, growing up, gentrification, zero hour working contracts or the hassle that women deal with when they just want to have a night out. There is a strong anti-fascist slant too, which reminds me of Canadian band Jeunesse Apatride. Cheery it isn’t but with a name like Grit what did you expect? Musically this ticks so many boxes for me.
Taking nods from bands like Criminal Damage or Syndrome 81, they keep the beat solid, throwing in atmospheric melodies on the guitars. Clodagh’s vocals are fantastic, she carries the tunes extremely well and is often backed up on the chorus by a gang vocal that adds an urgency to the songs. The sounds is clear without too many frills, which suggests it translates very well to the stage, and this is definitely a band I’d love to catch live. Tom Chapman