Crying monsters hidden smiles

It was smiles all around Upstairs in Whelan’s as Dublin duo Cry Monster Cry launched the group’s debut EP, The Fallen, to a sold-out room last May.

Those familiar with the delicately introspective title track were in for a surprise as Cry Monster Cry delivered a gritty performance of upbeat folk rock, with touches of traditional Irish music and an energy which at times bordered on Dropkick Murphy-esque punk.

Acoustic numbers were peppered throughout the set, showcasing the brothers’ signature harmonies, while the band kicked in regularly for extra instrumental and vocal support.  This left the crowd clapping, whooping, singing and attempting to dance in the jam-packed venue.

With just a couple of minor bum notes during some the five-voice harmonies and the rarest of rogue strings, the set was engaging and professional. Richie and Jamie Martin have different but complimentary voices, working in unison through silent glances with an ease that belies the youth of the band.

Cry Monster Cry are starting to develop a distinctive style – hints of Simon and Garfunkel powered by a lifetime of listening to all types of music including Tom Waits, the Dubliners, the Frames and Bob Dylan. This style emerged throughout the 11 tune set, including an engaging cover of Dylan’s “You ain’t goin’ nowhere”.

While polished and perhaps a little sleek on the EP, the music and vocals of Cry Monster Cry truly bloom in a live setting.  In person, the group demonstrates that certain something which transforms a pretty studio track into a gripping tune that stays stuck in your head long after the lights go on.  A very promising debut.

Communion: Headlining the Academy 2 next Friday night, July 20.
Knockanstockan, Wicklow: July 28
Castlepalooza, Offaly: August 4
Jack Of Diamonds, Dublin: August 19
Spirit Of Folk, Meath: September 22
Upstairs at Dolans, Limerick: September 27
The Sugar Club, Dublin: September 28
Roisin Dubh, Galway: September 29
Fred Zeppelins, Cork: September 30

To purchase the EP:

Tower Records – Wicklow Street
Elastic Witch – Abbey Street
E2 Music – Dame Street

You can also buy the digital version which includes bonus track “This New Country” from itunes


About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

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