The band set out to deliver their harsh sound last year with several scintillatingly sharp singles and a self-titled EP that garnered international acclaim, and translated this loudness to live performances including two sold-out Therapy? supports, several sold-out Dublin headline shows and a successful festival run over the summer.

Now, with the release of their debut album ‘Doomscroll’, recorded and mixed by Gilla Band’s Daniel Fox at Sonic Studios in Dublin, Naked Lungs are set to become frontrunners in an increasingly burgeoning Irish punk scene. 

Over the course of 10 tracks, “Doomscroll” replicates the mundane insanity of a modern day doomscroll which we all experience in the digital era. The ebb and flow of emotions around this concept are apparent across the widely varying dynamics of the record, taking the listener on a downward spiral through a relentless barrage of noise, accented with a number of other sonic influences.

The record begins with the track ‘Gack’, a taste of what’s to come sonically across 4 minutes and twenty seconds. Rolling toms and crunching hi-hats, a common feature of Matthew Pyper’s drumming across the record, lead to a building unease accompanied by screeching feedback and heavily distorted guitar sounds, before collapsing into utter insanity. 

This formula of building unease and anxious tension is consistent throughout the record, leaving the listener feeling trapped in a metaphorical doom scroll as the album title alludes to. It’s particularly potent on tracks like ‘Outcome’, where vocalist Tom Brady solemnly declares: “no matter what you do it’s the same outcome”. 

Brady’s almost shamanic delivery takes on many forms across the record; on River (Down), the vocalist desperately screams: “the only way is down she says / the only way is down”, emulating Jesse Matthewson of Canadian noise rock legends KEN Mode on the heavily doom inspired track.

On other tracks, like the near 6-minute ‘Shell’, Brady employs a crooning singing style similar to Joe Talbot of IDLES, turning out the tongue twisting lyrics: “She says she sells sea shells to cover it up”, as the track builds to an industrial sounding banger not too dissimilar to one of Death Grips’ guitar led thumpers. The variety of impassioned vocal deliveries, and revisited hooks make this mammoth tune well worth the attention span.

While keeping a consistently abrasive sound throughout, the band also boast a lot of depth sonically, to the point where further listens will unlock new intricacies in the deep sound of the record. This is especially evident on the album’s lead singles, like ‘Pressure’, where glitchy guitars match a glitchy vocal delivery, kept flowing by funk-driven bass and drums, only to whip the listener’s attention with an excessively over the top metal guitar solo two minutes in. 

On ‘Relentless’, the last single to be released from the record, Andrew Connaughton’s guitar mimics the sound of dripping water from a not-quite-turned-off tap, building to an overwhelming flow of sound that is, as the title describes, relentless, with Brady’s delivery leaving him sounding manically desperate for air.

But just when the listener thinks they’ve got the band’s sound nailed down, Naked Lungs push the boundaries further towards melody at the end of the album with the track ‘The Garden’.  Rushing Stevie Nicks-esque hi-hats and a prancing bassline, completed with singing that wouldn’t be out of place in an early 2000s emo anthem shows the depth of sound the band can achieve, to great success.

With a similar approach, the closer ‘Boo Boo’ is a sobering admission that ends the journey through utter madness; with a huge, sing-a-long hook that sees vocalist Brady admit: “I laugh at things that make me cry”. As the track closes to the sound of crunching crash cymbals and piercing guitar feedback, it’s hard to avoid that Naked Lungs have not just met the overwhelming hype surrounding them, but exceeded it with an unavoidable, caustic power.

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