Rarely (if ever) has a band’s debut album taken as long to reach its fans as No Sound Ever Dies by Emperor of Icecream, but perhaps theirs is no ordinary story. The album’s title alludes to the feeling within the band when a 2020 newspaper article elicited an emotional response from followers and ensured Cork’s FIFA Records thought it prudent to get the band members sitting around a virtual table.
Now based in Cork, Waterford, New York and Amsterdam, respectively Eddie Butt, John ‘Haggis’ Hegarty, Graham Finn and Colum Young, resolved to both delve into early releases from Emperor of Icecream and return to the studio to put the finishing touches on an album that was shelved 25 years ago when they prematurely parted company with their label, Sony Records.
They discovered a treasure trove of recordings and unfinished ideas that still sounded remarkably fresh despite the passing of time and began the process of completing a project that they had left Cork for London to work on during a heady period in the mid-nineties. Fledgeling riotous performances and early demos had piqued the interest of several record labels, but Sony pipped them all to the post with a promising development deal, and the lure of London captured the imagination of the four young Cork musicians.
It resulted in three extremely well-received EPs (Overflow, William and Know Me) and recordings began with ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke of legends Motörhead, who has contributed work on three of the new album’s tracks. No Sound Ever Dies kicks off as it means to go on with the title track from the William EP, and what follows is a musical petri-dish of shoegaze sounds, with touches of psychedelia and classic indie rock.
The two singles ‘Lambent Eyes’ and ‘Everyone Looks So Fine’ (which both enjoyed Number One positions in digital charts) are two gems on a rollercoaster Side A, while ‘High Rise Low Rise’ slows the pace down a little with its chilled Disintegration-like resonations. ‘Again and Again’ picks the pace up once more before the epic closer ‘Grow As You Are’ brings things to a crashing and fitting finale. Twenty-five years in the making, the appropriately-titled No Sound Ever Dies is testament to that very notion, and a poignant end to this chapter for a band who may have once burned out, but didn’t fade away.