Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Review: The Uncontested '001'

'One of the most exciting new bands in operation'

An image from The Uncontested's 001 by artist David McClelland
An image from The Uncontested's 001 by artist David McClelland

The Uncontested is an online collaboration presenting music via a virtual town accessible through the Northern Ireland band's website.

The five songs on the EP '001' tell the story of the town through the eyes of various characters living there.

The concept brings to mind Neil Young's Greendale album but the use of the website and illustrations add a welcome extra dimension.

The vocals are provided by Ciaran Gribbin, the man who took over frontman duties in INXS from the late Michael Hutchence. Don't let that alarm you though, The Uncontested is about as far away from cheesy stadium rock as you can get.

That's thanks in no small part to Conor McCreanor's excellent songs.

Formerly with The 4 Of Us, Conor's latest project moves effortlessly from the jazzy Eels-like riffs on Radio to the Elliott Smith-esque Where Are You Calling From?

A highlight is the song How Long?, a paranoid, claustrophobic dance tune. Had it appeared on Radiohead's classic OK Computer, it would have been regarded a highlight of that album.

As innovative as the website and the narrative of the town is, the project stands tall on virtue of the tunes alone. The whole mix leaves no doubt though that The Uncontested are one of the most exciting new bands in operation today, local or otherwise.

Visit the virtual town and listen to the tracks at  www.theuncontested.com

Facebook: facebook.com/TheUncontested

iTunes: TheUncontested

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