Single Review: V98 – Conversation Killer

I’m sure it’s been said thousands of times over the last couple of years, but seriously, what the hell are they putting in the water in Ireland??!!?? For the last several years we have seen an influx of brilliant bands from our neighbours across the water. These have included Girl Band, The Murder Capital and Fontaines DC, all which have proven themselves to be innovative, visceral and basically just bloody brilliant bands championing punk, post punk, noise, and a general lovely wonkiness that is a well needed antidote to the current norm. Playing to sell out crowds, packed festival tents or as supports to the equally brilliant IDLES, these bands have honed their craft over the last few months and are heading a definite ‘scene’.  So ‘drumroll’, can we please add to that ‘scene’, the brilliant V98?

‘Conversation Killer’ is the latest single from Irish/Scottish punk-rockers V98 and it’s coming out on October 18th ahead of the full EP it heads up that’s released on 8th November.

The EP was recorded and mixed by Dan Doherty of Darklands Audio (Fontaines D.C.) and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Jack White, The Rolling Stones), so they already have the pedigree and experience behind them to project their ferocious post-punk vision onto the world.

The track itself? Well there is no lead up. It starts full to bursting with minor chords, and a delicious wall of sound, sound tracked by the low in the mix spoken word/drunken pub ravings complaining about working and getting a job.

A bass driven breakdown presents the full on vocals about tokes, living with parents, library book fines, and wearing ‘the same old coat’. The chorus comes in and the same minor chords and immediate vocals are employed and Christ what a chorus! The play between the chorus and verses is realised beautifully, yet with a poignant strain that gives the track the immediate ‘hit’ it deserves. A two-thirds noisy solo breakdown makes for a nice rest from the intense sonic delivery, before finishing with the last pained chorus and the abrupt finish.

What an absolutely belting track ‘Conversation Killer’ is. It has peaks and troughs, and is an absolute revelation from a band I hadn’t heard of till now. V98 have so much going for them and are currently surrounded by likeminded individuals who will help nurture and perfect their sound and punk rock delivery. I can’t recommend this band enough. I suggest you give them the benefit of the doubt and list to ‘Conversation Killer’ asap!

Review by Ioan Humphreys:
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