‘Golden Syrup’ by Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands
The music business is no place for the faint hearted. With its glittering veneer, it might seem appealing from a distance but up close it’s pockmarked with pitfalls.
If there was a direct relationship between talent and success then Patrick Kelleher would be well on his way to ruling the world at this point. Of the stars that shine underground he is perhaps the brightest of them all. The standard of his work to date has been impeccable. His singing, songwriting and production ingenuity are just a few of the skills in his arsenal. Other than the success he richly deserves, this boy’s got it all
He emerged in 2009 with an audacious debut, You Look Cold, a highly unconventional record. The mark of greatness, it got better with every listen. The many layers of sonic experimentation that embellished it were striking. It was a portent of great things to come.
Golden Syrup, the follow-up, was two years in the making. The otherworldy tone of voice is still in place but pretty much everything else has changed. It’s more obviously an ensemble effort with His Cold Dead Hands bringing added swagger and electricity to the mix. The attention to detail invites repeat exploration. It’s a rich tapestry of sound. Every nook and cranny is stuffed with electronic noise. The expanded sonic palette affords Kelleher the luxury of painting more oblique pictures lyrically. And so the mystery deepens. Like all great records, it’s bathed in a distinctive light. There’s a recognisable atmosphere that links every track. It’s a dreamy nocturnal journey that skirts the darkness on the edge of town.
In an ideal world this record would be lauded. Wishful thinking, I know. All we can do is hope the making of something this good is in some way its own reward.