Album review: ADAM’S CURSE – What The Ancients Knew About Us

In this audio showcase, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Bat Kinane talks us through his musical influences, his musical journey, and featuring his new band Adam’s Curse.

ADAM’S CURSE - What The Ancients Knew About Us

Bad Reputation [Release date 10.11.20]

Adam’s Curse is a new band formed by ex-Glyder guitarist, singer and songwriter Bat Kinane. Glyder released five albums in the noughties and toured around Europe sharing stages with the likes of Metallica, Thin Lizzy and Slash. In Adam’s Curse he is joined drummer Brendan Gilligan, who played with Bat in a thrash metal band called Cursed Earth, and bassist John Treacy. The band derives its name from the W.B. Yeats poem of the same name “Adam’s Curse”.

Opening with ‘A Vibe for Philo’ which is a homage to the annual tribute concert held in Dublin every year since Phil Lynott’s death. The concert was where Glyder had its beginnings back in 2004. The song was written the night after Bat last played the concert in 2011 as a member of the Pat McManus band. No surprise it has a Thin Lizzy sound especially in the guitar playing and a strong opening to the album.

‘Funeral of My Soul’ is an older song, written not long after Glyder split and deals with the frustration of being an artist. Listen out for the bass runs and guitar solos, wonderful listening.

If you are after a little straight ahead hard rocking, ‘Unmask Your Face’ does just that. No frills riffing as the band give both lyical barrells to the online trolls and keyboard warriors.

‘Borrowed Time’ is certainly a song for now, ‘madmen pull the strings’ and ‘Mother Earth must breathe again, or we all must face the end’ – Adam’s Curse have plenty to say lyrically. Indeed, it is a very topical album covering themes of global warming and the destruction of the planet on ‘Poison Spring’ (where it is good to see Bat Kinane’s folk side of his music and writing come to the fore) and the aforementioned ‘Borrowed time’. Speaking of folk, ‘My Canoe’ is a lovely little tune, with a 60’s vibe and perfect for a bit of daytime radio airplay.

Plenty of highlights on the album including ‘Tattoos and Loneliness’ about a girl who looks at her ink and it reminds her of her past. The slow blues nature of the song, along with a powerful bit of blues guitar playing, make this a ‘must hear’. Also the reworking of the Glyder song ‘Stargazer’ is an absolute belter. Much gentler arrangement, yet still packs a powerful punch as the original version did.

Adam’s Curse are a perfect vehicle for Bat Kinane to mix his love of the classic rock/blues sounds of Thin Lizzy and Rory Gallagher, with his folk leanings and story-telling talent. Yeats poem was based on the difficulty of creating something beautiful, something Adam’s Curse have succeeded in doing. You’ll be hard pushed to hear a more enjoyable and lyrically powerful album this year. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

Bat Kinane tells us more about the album, the recording of it and the band’s future plans…

How did Adam’s Curse come together and what was/is your musical driver for the band?

John, Brendan and I have been playing in a covers band now for the past number of years.  John and I have always been into writing original material and I produced an EP of John’s original music about 2 years ago. Brendan and I go back 30 years when we played in a thrash metal band called Cursed Earth.

Since Glyder split I released a few folk albums here in Ireland for my own amusement. When lockdown happened, I found I had a lot of spare time and was listening to a lot of rock and metal so naturally I started writing rock music again.  It all started off with me filling in my time and then it grew along the way. I was blogging videos of the recording and writing process.

What was it like recording during lockdown? Is it in some ways easier to write & record as there are no gigs to arrange, no time constraints from say a label, etc.

We had been playing every weekend before lockdown in pubs and at parties etc so I found I had the energy and focus to write. When you are out gigging the last thing you want to do is start writing songs.

I was also only in my day job every second day so rather than sit around and be bored I decided to do something positive and creative with my time. In the end it consumed every minute of my time often twelve hours a day. The lads did their parts at home and emailed them to me. It was all very easy really.

The album has many valid and interesting lyrical themes. ‘Unmask Your Face’ deals with the online world and keyboard warriors for want of a better phrase. How do you think music can get across a more tolerant message on the use of social media or is it a bit of a lost cause, with many people seemingly happy to stay within their own social online bubbles.

I found at the start of lockdown I was beginning to rant on Facebook about things that were happening especially the covid thing, cancel culture etc Ranting on social media is not a positive thing.

Rather than become a keyboard warrior I decided to have a go at keyboard warriors and vent my frustration through my music. Really what ‘Unmask Your Face’ is about is people who work in the media who decide what needs to be cancelled like say the Germans in Fawlty Towers being censored by the BBC.

The people in the media who decide that a statue should be taken down, then the people on Twitter stirring the pot, the erasing of history because someone finds it offensive.

History is important and if we start to rewrite or erase it we are setting a dangerous precedent that will eventually end up with book burning, The far left are as bad as the far right, we need a little moderation. I think the world is a very angry and dangerous place right now and I have a genuine fear of what is coming down the line.

‘A Vibe For Philo’ will certainly please the Thin Lizzy and more traditional rock fans. Phil Lynott has been a big musical influence on your music and songwriting. What is it that makes his songs so timeless, as they still sound good today and not dated like some artists & their songs do.

Phil Lynott was the reason I started to play music. He had everything, the lyrics, the voice, the rock star look, the musicianship. I really identified with him. As a teenager Thin Lizzy was everything to me.

What makes Thin Lizzy so special is the song writing. Phil Lynott was a storyteller, a great one too. A great story never grows old. What is wrong with a lot of modern music is the art of storytelling is gone. Some bands’ lyrics are so random and only make sense to the person who wrote them, I’m not interested in those.  Great storytelling is timeless.

What are the plans for the next few months for Adam’s Curse and all being well, what sort of live activity may we see from the band next year?

Well we have to be realistic. I want to see how this album is received. If people like it then we may get to do some gigs, but time will tell. I would like to follow up with another album and try developing the band a bit more.

Musically the album goes in a few different directions and some people have been critical of that aspect of it so it might take another album or two for us to settle into what we do. I am confident that there are some great tunes on the album, and I think they will come across very well live.

Also we have to consider the pandemic and if a vaccine is successful there will be a lot of bands out there looking to play so it will be very competitive, really if the demand is there and people want to see us play live we will do it.

How did you hook up with Bad Reputation? Is it for this album or have you signed for a multi-album deal?

I kept in touch with Eric Coubard who owns the label over the years, He signed the first two Glyder albums and helped us get our name out there. After Glyder split I recommended a few bands to him over the years.

When I recorded ‘A Vibe For Philo’ and ‘Tattoos and Loneliness’ I decided to send them to Eric as I felt they would fit perfectly into his label. He got straight back and said he would release the album.

I was delighted as it gave me the opportunity to be a proper recording artist again and do what I love doing. Eric has an amazing distribution network and I’m excited that the album is available all over the world. I guess for the label how this album does will determine if there will be a follow up on Bad Reputation. Hopefully we will, we can only take it a step at a time!

On the album the Glyder song ‘Stargazer’ gets a new musical lease of life and sounds different, yet familiar at the same time (if that makes sense!). What made you want to re-record that song? Any plans to perhaps re-record other Glyder songs?

When the album was almost complete, I needed one more tune so I decided to use Stargazer.  I think that song fitted the vibe of the album and it’s a strong song, the style that I think we should follow.

I won’t be revisiting any other Glyder songs in the future. I wrote that song 5 years before Glyder began and it’s a personal song so I have a connection with it. When the album was near completion I decided ‘What Live Matter’ was going to be pulled off the album, I wasn’t happy with it.

So I decided to add ‘My Canoe’ and ‘Funeral of My Soul’ which are old songs I wrote. Then I was confused, Brendan our drummer said throw them all in, which I did so it’s a bit of a gamble really. On the positive side there are many styles on the album and what appeals to one listener may not appeal to another. But I am confident that there is something for any rock fan on the album.

What sort of live music scene do you think we will see from next year, given that we won’t see anything bar streamed shows this year and maybe the odd indoor gig.

The latest I’m reading is you won’t be able to buy a ticket now without a vaccine. It is all very Orwellian and it seems like things that would be passed off as conspiracy theories are indeed becoming real. I don’t really know what the end result will be, anyone’s guess is as good as mine. However, I think people, especially older rock fans, will be very careful about large congregations while the younger generation will be more inclined to group together. There will be winners and losers in this and only time will tell.

Message for your fans and anything else to add…

Please check out our album and if you have the money please buy a CD, Spotify is not helping anyone. Thanks again Jason for supporting my music ever since you gave Glyder their very first UK gig in Brentford back in 2005!

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  1. Pingback: Tonight at 9pm on Get Ready to Rock! Radio…Bat Kinane of Adam’s Curse – The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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