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Review: 'McHUGH, JIM'
'Noise Machine'   

-  Label: 'Self Released'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '22nd October 2017'

Our Rating:
The cover image and album title suggests we are in store for some ear-splitting electronica. However, appearances can be deceptive.

This debut solo album is a set of twelve indie folk tunes by an Irishman based in Monaghan.

The crunching guitars and muddy Fall-like mix of Hills Of Mullyash, is a promising opener but although McHugh does his best to sound earnest and impassioned he is not blessed with a greatest of voices and the quality of the song writing frequently leaves a lot to be desired.

The absence of poetic pathos is exemplified in the sloppy repeated line "Won't you come to me with those memories that I remember" on the single Sweet Surrender.

Many of the lyrics give the impression that McHugh is struggling to come to terms with a loss of faith or is suffering after a break-up (or possibly both!).

Whatever the origin of his pain, it's clear from WWW that he gains no solace from cyberspace. The hectoring tone of this anti internet song includes the threat "get that phone from my face, you can stick it up your jacksie".

I would be more inclined to sympathize with this kind of frustration if he added a bit of self deprecating humour to proceedings. Instead, a grinding bitterness prevails and this can also be heard in Angel Of Tara St and Help Her Help Me. The problem is compounded in these songs by the fact that the object of his anger is unclear. Is he railing against a real person or an imaginary enemy?

And when all is said and done perhaps he'd have been better off making an experimental noise album after all!

Jim McHugh's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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McHUGH, JIM - Noise Machine