- 12 Sep 18
The rejuvenation of ’90s -style slacker pop has been one of 2018’s most refreshing, if slightly baffling, trends. A genre that, just a few years ago, appeared to have evaporated without trace was back with a flourish, as epitomised by a new generation of cathartic janglers: Snail Mail, Julien Baker and, perhaps most prominently, 21 year-old Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy.
This sold-out performance wasn’t Allison's first time in Ireland – she had an unhappy vacation here as a teenager. It would seem we did not leave the best impression. "You're just a bunch of drunks," the Nashville, Tennessee native observed during one of several skittish (and, to be honest, occasionally irritating) asides punctuating an otherwise agreeably laconic set.
The good news is that the music was better than the banter. Allison’s gift for shin-kicking melody – no doubt honed during a childhood spent immersed in Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift and Paramore– was to the fore on Your Dog, a break-up ballad with claws. And she can write a vinegary zinger as demonstrated by Cool, her sardonic valentine to the hip kid in high school that showcased her band’s muscular zest.
There were magnificent downers, too: a cover of Springsteen's I'm On Fire plumbed depths the original didn't dare countenance and an acoustic Scorpio Rising ripped out your heart and left it twitching on the floor. It was an emotive end to a stunning evening – and enough to make you forgive her assumption we're all hidebound alcoholics.