Belfast’s R51 latest EP, Pillow Talk, has got powerful weapons hidden in it’s arsenal. The release is awash with lush guitars, brutal riffs and a genuine excitement. The influence of the Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine is evident throughout. However, rather than parroting what those bands have done, the band seem intent on mixing these sources with their own voice to create something refreshing. Centrally though, the band seem intent on straddling that fine line between artistic and accessible and while they may not always be successful in that goal, they still knock it out of the park with alarming consistency. Each one of the songs has something to recommend, be it the Sigur Ros vibe permeating throughout the EP closer, ‘Seaweed’, the spaced out verses on ‘I Hate That Too’ or the monstrously huge chorus on ‘Pillow Talk’. Over its appropriately long runtime, the release provides the listener with some genuine surprises. It is fantastic to see such a young band come out with a release as accomplished as this. R51 are a legitimately exciting band. What they’ve presented us with is a finely hand crafted EP that begs to be relistened to over and over again. A damn good group and definitely ones to watch over the next twelve months. Will Murphy
Check out our recent live session with R51 below.