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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Sarah and pals reflect upon life

Album Review: Dirty Epics One-Way Mirror (SCAR) ***

John Meagher

Published 22/03/2013 | 18:00

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Sarah Jane Wai O'Flynn is a make-up artist who's well known in Irish fashion circles.

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It looked as though the Wicklow lady was on the cusp of making waves in music some time ago, but the band she fronts, Dirty Epics, never quite made it despite a promising debut album and a song that found its way on to the soundtrack of the acclaimed Channel 4 series, Skins.

Fast-forward five years, and SJ Wai – as she styles herself – is having a second bite of the cherry. One-Way Mirror incorporates synth-pop into the punk thrust of old and does so with considerable panache.

Beautiful Mistake is a giddy, radio-friendly number awash with appealing new wave overtones while the single, Midnight Missing, is all jerky guitars and fuzzy basslines. The latter has the potential to elevate this band despite Wai's rather flat singing.

Surrender, meanwhile, sees the melodrama turned down several notches and the textured production provides much-needed light and shade.

While One-Way Mirror is a little uninspired here and there and some of the material sounds like sub-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this is a fine comeback.

KEY TRACKS Surrender; Midnight Missing

Irish Independent

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