Davy Kehoe - The Pilot

  • Two Led Zeppelin-inspired jams.
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  • The Irish label Wah Wah Wino doesn't seem to take itself too seriously. The most notable aspect of their website? A throbbing pink slug. Their in-house mastering engineer is credited as The Bastard. And in a write-up for a showcase at Cafe Oto last November, the collective promised they were coming "for one night only and never ever again," possibly because the gig advertised dog walking and email writing as part of the performance. These sort of gags usually emerge from close-knit (not to say hermetic) friendships. This togetherness might also be key to the strength of their latest release, an EP by Davy Kehoe. Its two tracks sound like the result of an improvised jam session—besides Kehoe, B Man, Morgan Buckley and Brendan Jenkinson play an array of instruments on "Part 1"—and their easy chemistry is clear. The Tortoisey motorik of Short Passing Game runs through the A-side, though the sound here is comparatively loose, if not unstable. The organs are frantic and bitter, like old drunks arguing in the pub. Kehoe sings, rants and howls foggy phrases into the void. A rough guitar riff crunches along. ("Wino go full Zeppelin!" is how the label describes the EP.) But sometime after two minutes, these discordant layers are sloughed off. Kehoe's voice turns sweet, and after a while the fretless bass's subtle groove becomes more apparent. The harmonica then offers a lovely counterpoint to the grungy mess beneath. (I could imagine Lena Willikens dropping this, pitched down to -4, at sunrise sometime soon.) "Part 2" is the A-side's scrappy cousin—a hum and buzz of distorted bass and feedback, all tied to the same pulse as "Part 1." (You can hear someone mentioning the time—8:45, presumably the evening—as though they should wrap things up.) The execution is more casual, and it's not as essential as the A-side, but like every Wah Wah Wino release it has undeniable personality.
  • Tracklist
      A The Pilot (Part 1) B The Pilot (Part 2)