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Irish Coffee - Irish Coffee CD (album) cover


Irish Coffee


Heavy Prog

3.52 | 52 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Recently on a buying trip to Brooklyn I scored a bunch of great records, both originals and reissues. The reissue of this album on Akarma knocked me cold, and continues to every time I play it. Belgium had an underrated and fantastic music scene in the early 70s, but Irish Coffee are the most impressive group I've heard from there, no question. What makes this album a masterpiece is the hard driving guitar work juxtaposed with quality songwriting and a bit of the Czar/ Stonehouse/Asgard UK vibe to the tracks. Czar and Deep Purple come to mind often, as does surprisingly a bit of early Spooky Tooth, yet Irish Coffee managed to create their own sound. The soaring, swirly guitars and inventive rhythm changes form the basis of the instrumental sound, while a strong and emotional voice and fine harmonies are the vocal element. It all works flawlessly for the entire album with each song building up to a frenzied crescendo or a lost world weary refrain. Lyrically, this is a really dark and tortured album with very disturbed themes about nuclear war, mental devastation, unremitting fear, and the like. The music, though, is surprisingly uplifting at times and makes you cheer for them to make it big not just in Belgium, but also internationally. Sadly, this was not to be. Irish Coffee couldn't even find a record contract and so put this out themselves. It is often the case with private pressings to have execrable sound quality, this one has BRILLIANT sound quality! You can hear everything clearly and each member of the group shines on every track. I haven't heard musicianship and songs this good for awhile! If you like UK hard rock/progressive rock you will love this, and if you like late period psychedelic rock with Eastern flourishes you'll love this, and it it that mixture of unique influences that makes for such an impressive album. The singer is fantastic, going over the top only when he needs to and not straining to sound like Gillan or Plant although he occaisonally recalls both. Irish Coffee deserved to be a worldwide sucess, at least the reissue gives us a chance to hear another great band lost in the shuffle. I would add that a musical rennaisance was going on in the early 70s in England and it spread throughout Europe. Irish Coffee were part of that rennaisance as were a lot of overlooked bands from Europe. They, however, sound both exotic in a UK way and exotic in a Euro way. I could not ask for more from an album. There is not one song on here that isn't brilliant. A full fledged masterpiece.
| 5/5 |


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