In 2007, Dublin-based quartet Dark Room Notes lit lamps in the corners of musical minds with their excellent debut single 'Love Like Nicotine'. It was undoubtedly one of that year's best Irish tunes, was followed with a stellar EP ('Dead Start Program') and boded well for the electro devotees' full-length debut.
Dark Room Notes are a band who love the '80s - that much is abundantly clear from just one listen to 'We Love You Dark Matter', the album they recorded in London last summer. Yet although the synthesiser is an integral part of their sound, it's used to create polished, stylish pop music instead of the ramshackle 'uber-cool' twaddle being peddled by 80% of bands on the current scene.
Opener 'Each and Every One of Us' immediately sparks the touch-paper, its piercing synth zap colliding deliciously and darkly with an offbeat rhythm; a re-recorded version of 'Love Like Nicotine' also features, and although it's perhaps not as tight or zippy as the original, it's certainly sleeker.
There are flirtations with grimy electro ('Broken Nail'), dynamic anthems ('Shake Shake My Ceiling') and clean, warm pop ('Fast Flashes/Who Is Isabella Moonlight') too, and while Ronan Gaughan's vocals sound a touch harried at times, there's no denying that this is a supremely impressive debut album. Sure, it may take several listens to open up, develop and stamp itself onto your consciousness - but when it does, you'll want to know the words to every song.