“The only problem was that most male singers I heard were like a poppy version of Dave Gahan and all the female vocalists sounded like they were singing in a tampon ad,” he laughs. Martin Corrigan had tasted success as the frontman of the band Corrigan with their 2003 debut album. However, Martin didn’t want to stand still and, just as Kieran was looking for a vocalist, he was making plans to ‘do something different’. “I had been a solo artist before Corrigan and I wanted to write songs just without a drummer,” Martin says. “We knew Phil from Belfast and he had heard our CD and was open to new ideas, so Alloy Mental came about naturally.
Most musicians are flaky bastards who just want to drink and chase women, so it was refreshing to meet someone who is so determined and professional.” However, Martin admits that Alloy Mental could have easily descended into ‘a battle between a techno producer and a songwriter’, had it not been for guitarist Danny Todd, also a member of Corrigan and founder of another combo, Cashier No 9. “It took a lot of time to work out where we wanted to take it, so Danny came in as the musician and interpreted our melodies and arrangements, and he looks fucking class on stage,” Martin admits. To date, Alloy Mental have only played a few live gigs, but they have been unforgettable experiences, opportunties to roadtest the trashy guitars and hypnotic keyboards of ‘Gotta Love’ and the evil bass of ‘I Am’ and ‘Listen’, which resurrects the menacing throb of 80s ebm as Corrigan spits and screams bile. “There is just a guitarist, a keyboardist and a vocalist. There’s no drummer and it looks so fucking strange,” Martin rasps.
“It feels like a rock concert crossed with a rave. We’re dressed in black, wear armbands like Front 242, and sound like a 747 has crash-landed in your sitting room.” Alloy Mental’s ability to fuse rock and dance music – contrast the jagged, Pixies-style guitars of ‘So Silent’ and ‘Stick It In Yaow Neck’ with the slamming electro and techno of ‘Streets On Fire and ‘We Have Control’ – also means that their gigs have united a cross-section of ravers, Goths and indie kids. In short, it’s a sociologist’s wet dream. “When we do gigs, punks and people who read Kerrang turn up, as much as people who go to clubs,” Phil says, while Martin adds that Alloy Mental’s dance background means the audience ineracts with the band.
“Most rock audiences are pretty conservative, they don’t dance, but because our sound has a techno element, there is a lot more energy. It also works the other way: clubbers have been starved of human interaction, so they go mad at our shows because there is a singer.” The album contains the mellow ‘Light’, which descends into a droning guitar mantra and the reflective ‘Seconds’, where Martin sings about ‘hectic women’ because Martin believes “you need balance, you can’t headbutt your audience in the face all the time. Having said that, when I’m on stage with Phil and Danny, it feels like I’m standing with my back to a jet engine on full blast.” Time to go Alloy Mental! Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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