Electrifying... it's Altered Hours magic!

Over the decades Cork has consistently produced acts that have a swagger, an edge, and an ability to write and create great music. The Echo 'Downtown' correspondents Eddie Kiely (FIFA Records) and Eddie Butt (bass player with Emperor of Ice Cream) profile Altered Hours.
Electrifying... it's Altered Hours magic!
Altered Hours: One of Cork's finest. Picture: Izabela Szczutkowska

Over the decades Cork has consistently produced acts that have a swagger, an edge, and an ability to write and create great music. The Echo 'Downtown' correspondents Eddie Kiely (FIFA Records) and Eddie Butt (bass player with Emperor of Ice Cream) profile Altered Hours.

The Altered Hours are a Cork based five-piece psych rock band, formed in 2010 and made up of members Elaine Howley (vocals), Cathal MacGabhann (vocals and guitar), Kevin Terry (guitar), Patrick Cullen (bass) and Nora Lewan (drums), and are in our view Ireland’s greatest exponents of said genre.

Altered Hours: Renowned for their electrifying, fervent and exhilarating live performances. 	Picture: Tara Thomas
Altered Hours: Renowned for their electrifying, fervent and exhilarating live performances. Picture: Tara Thomas

However, that would be oversimplifying the vastness of their sound. Their music takes on multiple configurations, which traverse through vast psychedelic expanses, mixed with a post-punk cadence added to repetitive, pulsating and driving rhythms. Live they have built up a loyal following and have become known both home and abroad for their electrifying, fervent and exhilarating performances.

The Altered Hours made a grand statement of intent to the alternative music scene following their work with Fabien Leseure on their critically acclaimed Sweet Jelly Roll EP. A release laden with spiralling guitar and which could be described as hypnotic psych, and which was released on Anton Newcomb’s (Brian Jonestown Massacre) acclaimed ‘A Recordings’ label in 2013.

From that point the band continued to show an ever-evolving style, sometimes capricious but always guaranteed to excite, which was clearly evident in their next release, 2014’s ‘Dig Early’ single, which captured the magic of the band’s by now renowned live performances.

Put simply ‘Dig Early’ is an absolute gem and one of the best tracks released by an Irish act in recent years, if not decades.

However, the band sought to further explore the possibility of capturing the intensity of their live performances in the studio. This involved a return to Berlin in 2014 where the band with Leseure once again at the controls, locked themselves away in a studio experimenting and recording. The resulting 10 tracks, which the band readily admit were obviously influenced by the beautifully dismal surroundings of the 1950’s Funkhaus, went on to form the excellent and widely acclaimed 2016 debut album In Heat Not Sorry. The album was released on Irish indie label Art For Blind, building a relationship with the label the still exists today.

Since the release of their debut long player, The Altered Hours have toured extensively across Europe, winning numerous plaudits for their exciting live performances.

Altered Hours: The Cork-based band are one of the country’s greatest exponents of psych rock. 	Picture: Izabela Szczutkowska
Altered Hours: The Cork-based band are one of the country’s greatest exponents of psych rock. Picture: Izabela Szczutkowska

2018 saw the release of the highly anticipated On My Tongue EP on Art For Blind and Penske Recordings. The band decamped to Dublin’s Bow Lane Studios to record the EP and the results saw The Altered Hours further reshape their sonic assault into something that was although still familiar was also fresh and spellbinding. As one reviewer put it: “It has subtle highlights of post-punk, psych, neo-psych, shoegaze and riotous rock & roll all bundled up into one almighty white-knuckle sonic thrill ride”.

In terms of releases, The Altered Hours may not be the most prolific, but the quality is there in abundance.





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