Dark connotations and dirty blues mean that Murder Plan could have easily followed the predictable path of rock and roll that we've all heard before but in fact this Dublin five-piece have brought out an EP that allows them to express the deeply-recessed secrets of their souls without indulging in anything that would expose listeners to musical schadenfreude.
Opening with a jaunty keys intro, as the title suggests A Little More Sunshine is a bright, cheery, poppy introduction with uplifting vocals that sets out the primary objective of this band as a fun-loving troop who'd rather get people dancing than write something for crying to.
With a dangerous bassline, slippery guitar and "I'm causing trouble on the streets" chorus, it's a shame that Murder Plan are not better known by now - they first surfaced in 2006 and have gigged extensively on the fringes of the Irish scene, earning a reputation as fine performers as a live band but never taking that big, bolshy step into the limelight of the city's bigger stages - if that had been the case both Morrissey and the Kaiser Chiefs would have cried themselves to sleep last week for there's no song better-suited to soundtrack newsreels on the London riots than Trouble, second track on the Drinkin' With The Devil EP.
Soul Dance is the surprise number that takes the listener unawares, making best use of Stephanie O'Keeffe's powerful, seductive voice, coupled with harmonies during the chorus. The rhythm section keep it easy-going although the drums feature most prominently here, while Dara Melinn's guitar really comes through, downplaying for the most part until a great rowdy final section.
The title track Drinkin' With The Devil is such a strong tune, assertive straight-up rock'n'roll, that it will mark itself out as the one to wait for. Rarely does anything so accomplished come swaying out the doors of Dublin's saloons, not least without striking a deal of misdeeds in return for success. From the offset they're out to paint the town black: big, rabble-rousing guitars, tremendous vocals and Cathal Melinn's astonishingly deft piano make this a song one that you either join or get the hell out of the way. Unfashionable as blues rock may be and despite the fact it's taken five years to fine-tune their songs to such tight accord, every step and second of this record rings out with resolve, skill and tenacity. They needn't compromise either their livers or their souls to impress: this EP is already on its way to resounding success.