Cadaver Club: Nine Sweet Angels EP (Pirate Heart Records, 2020)

Cadaver Club’s newest release is a four track CD called Nine Sweet Angels. Its official release date was on Halloween 2020 and a video for the title track was premiered a few days earlier.

Nine Sweet Angels arrived to me on Friday, the 13th of November. Somehow the arrival date shouldn’t be a surprise, when talking about this horror/funeral punk band. In fact, it had to reach me on that day. And how often, when you open a letter or a parcel, first thing dropping onto your hand is a business card of a funeral company, so to speak…

Cadaver Club photographed in 2018, I believe. Photo: Ronan McGrade.

Who are Cadaver Club, a band that have been around since 2012? They are (from left in the photo above) Mr. Crowe (lead vocals), Draggle (drums), Dirge (guitar) and Boom Chic Chic (bass). Mr Crowe and Boom Chic Chic are husband and wife, whereas Draggle and Dirge are brothers. A real family business then (I have always wanted to say that)! And they come from Northern Ireland (Co. Fermanagh).

Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to catch them live yet, but I hope it happens one day. I also hope to get a chance to write a proper article about them and unveil a bit more about this foursome. And why’s that? Simply because they make great music and I do enjoy a lot their music videos, too.

I mentioned the music videos for reason. The man behind them is Ronan McGrade. And the video for the title track of the Nine Sweet Angels EP is filmed and directed by him, too.

The video was filmed in Big Dog Forest in Fermanagh. And what a beautiful forest it is. A perfect backdrop for this Halloween video. This time, thanks to the COVID-19 related travel restrictions, only Mr. Crowe represents the band in the video.

The two first songs, ‘Nine Sweet Angels’ and ‘Scarecrow Down’ are pure, melodic punk tunes. This is what Dirge has unveiled about the latter one on Facebook (entry 7 Nov):

This one has been consigned to the crypt for a few years, but it’s time to let the bat out of the bag.
‘Scarecrow Down’ was conceived and rehearsed as part of the sessions for It’s Always the Quiet Ones [the previous full length album] and we’ve been keeping it up our sleeves until now. It’s a short, sharp shock of a song, one of our most frantic to date with no punches pulled.
Lyrically, it’s an ode to the humble Scarecrow, waging its war on the winged menace from the sky.
Musically, its a kick in your face.
This ones for turning up loud gravediggers.

The third song , ‘Coppercombe Blues’ is an acoustic version of ‘Coppercombe Witch’ from the above mentioned It’s Always the Quiet Ones album. Draggle has something to say of that (Fb entry 3 Nov):

The idea of doing a bluesy version of ‘The Coppercombe Witch’ (from our second album It’s Always The Quiet Ones) came out of a rehearsal session a couple of years ago. We were setting up and checking the levels, messing around with the chords of that song, and before we knew it we’d locked in to a whole different groove. You never know when lightening will strike and I rushed to make a quick recording of it so we’d remember it for future… and here we are. We tend to present our songs with a lot of energy and even aggression, but this shows a different side of the band. It is, after all, only rock & roll and this is good evidence of that. While we may be better known for driving in coffin nails, we still know how to swing the hammer.

The song works perfectly as an acoustic blues version. The original one is an up-tempo punk song, but it apparently works perfectly as a slow, blues song, too. I have now listened them both one after another trying to find out, which version I prefer. But I cannot say, as the versions are so different. Both works.

The last song, ‘Long in the Tooth’ is also acoustic, but this time a punkish, up-tempo song.

Nine Sweet Angels EP cover art, small

The cover is made by Mr. Crowe, who has another life as an artist under a name Kevin McHugh.

The rest of the band are also known by the names Jolene McHugh, Matty James Cassidy and Phil Cassidy. It seems that working as a funeral band is not a year-round thing, so they have had to find other things to do for earning their living and thus they have adopted these new names.

John Moffat has given the finishing touch for the songs (mixing and mastering) and two first songs are also recorded by him at Oaks Recording in Enniskillen.

Text © Katriina Etholén

You can buy the EP here. You can follow Cadaver Club on Facebook.

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