- 25 Apr 18
Good Time Merchants Get It Right. Dream Brother: Pat Carty.
Say what you like about The Hot Sprockets but they always look like they’re having a good time, surely the main reason why people run away with rock n’ roll bands in the first place. From their earliest ramshackle shows in Dublin’s late, lamented Sweeney’s Bar, to larger venues like their recent headliner in the Button Factory, they’ve never been the type to stare at their (platform) shoes. Rather, they exude an infectious glee, and delight in being a band, playing the music they love. As just one example, their set at last year’s Electric Picnic had everyone at the Salty Dog throwing shapes and smiling, oblivious to a downpour. Putting those good vibes down on tape has, at times, proven a trickier prospect, but with Dream Mover, the third time’s the charm.
2017 single, 'Right Spots', with its twangy guitar intro, Keith Richards chords and classic middle-eight breakdown boded well, but it was knocked out of the park by this year’s follow up, the fabulous left-turn of ‘Cold Cold Sweat’. An Afrobeat floor filler worthy of the mighty Fela Kuti himself, complete with West African style muted guitar riffs, horn blasts, swirling organ, and “Yah-Yah” vocals, it is easily the finest Sprocketian moment so far. That it doesn’t stick out here like a giraffe in a henhouse is testament to the good work in these grooves.
Helpful chaps that they are, The Sprockets have even provided the playlist they were listening to while they worked. It ranges from Ariel Pink to Jack White and all points in between – Beefheart! Dr. John! Hall & Jaysus Oates! This commendably catholic taste is evident throughout the finished platter. ‘You’ve Got Yours’ is a gorgeous country-soul ballad, lifted by Franky Kelly’s mandolin, ‘Way With Women’, which finds time for a blast of mariachi trumpet, does some proper rocking, as does ‘Sanctified’, and ‘Imagine Us On The Sun’ – a song title that couldn’t be more Sprockety – is as “light, mystical and floaty” as the lyrics hint, but in a good way.