14 October 2013
by Tomas Doyle
Editor’s Note: our man Tomas Doyle went and wrote this review back when Doyle Airence were known just as plain old Doyle. About a day after he handed it in, Doyle, the former Misfits guitarist, threatened to sue them unless they changed their name. Hence: Doyle Airence. Cue: a perfectly good joke ruined. Still, we made the poor bugger write it, so the least you can do is read it (and imagine that the band are still called “Doyle”.
I remember talking to my Dad lots when I was younger about my name. “Doyle” takes it root from the gaelic Dubhghall, which means “dark stranger” and whenever I felt shit at school I told myself that being an outsider somehow ran in my veins – in my very name. Combine this with being the only boy in my family since my father ,and the fact that I am the only route by which my surname can live on and you could say that my moniker means a lot to me. It would be a real shame if some stupid rock band came along and fucked it all up, wouldn’t it?
Parisian quintet Doyle, are, therefore, already treading on pretty thin ice with me. Sure, I’ve had a few run-ins with other musical Doyle’s before: the hulking Misfits guitarist, the guy who sung that infernal ‘I Don’t Want You Back’ song in the early noughties and even a man in Don Broco, who not only has the audacity to share my surname but my first name as well! But this one feels more important, because if this is shit I’ll never be able to sign a cheque again without shuddering (and I fucking LOVE signing cheques).
Fortunately then, Doyle are great. Expansive, textured post hardcore with plenty of bite and even more atmosphere. Over 11 sprawling tracks, Monolith moves from crashing fury, to expansive sonic plateaus, to introspective ambience. There are catchy choruses in amongst all the noodling too, ‘We Were Kids’ in particular managing to pull a hefty earworm from its churning bowels. Indeed, that dark and strange genealogy is pretty fitting here, with non-linear song structures the order of the day and a penchant for cranking the guitar crunch up when it’s required notable throughout. If you were a fan out the now sadly defunct Rinoa then you will probably dig this, as will those who rate Devil Sold His Soul and, to a lesser extent, Bring Me The Horizon’s latest effort, Sempiternal.
Watch an “album trailer” for Monolith by Doyle Airence:
Monolith is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, with enough complexity to draw you in but suitably accessible so that it doesn’t feel like a of attrition trying to get a grip on it in the first place. Whether or not the band will be able to make much of an in-road into a scene dominated by a strong Anglo-American bias remains to be seen, but at least I can stay away from the deed poll office for the time being. Now if I could just stop all my mates asking my mum is always offering me a cup of tea (Ah g’wan. G’wan g’wan, g’wan) then I’ll be golden.
Sounds Like: THIS
Standout Tracks: We Were Kids, Painting With Lights, Left Unsaid