Sunday Times – Album Review of “II”
“Last month Electric Penguins settled long running band differences. Now the remaining group, Paul Murphy and Mark Cummins, has re-released its second album, II, almost a year after its initial launch. From the opening track, the Pink Floyd-inspired Minutes, to the punchy pop of Airships Fly Over Beaches With Godetias, the band perfects a sound that sits as comfortably in the psychedelic as with folk, rock, ambient and electronica. A soft mushy side even seeps through in the caressing tones of Always, Always, which has just piano and vocals for support.”
- Siobhán Maguire, Sunday Times, August 2011
MetroHerald – Album Review of “II”
- Eamon De Paor, MetroHerald, December 2010
Hot Press Annual 2011 – “Synth Act Of 2010″ feature
Read the full feature here…
Day & Night – Album review of “II”
“…II is a beguilingly lovely collection, flitting between the thoughtful, avant-garde atmospherics of the 1970s German electronic revolution to ruminative songs, reminiscent of early Pink Floyd. From the cinematic scope of Minutes to the whimsical Julia Stephens, the duo’s attention to detail is obvious.”
– John Meagher, Irish Independent, Day & Night Magazine, December 2010
- Olaf Tyaransen, Hot Press, October 2010
OXYGEN.ie – Album Review of “II”
“II is a really impressive album, it’s beautifully arranged, and listening to it you get the impression that you’re experiencing something very special. The instruments are wonderfully layered but there’s not a tambourine shake or synth echo out of place.
It has the same sophisticated strangeness of early David Bowie and the emotion and appeal of Sigur Ros.
Instead of writing to a formula, Electric Penguins have thrown the rule book out the window!”
- Jane Ward, Oxygen.ie, October 2010
(read the full review here… http://www.oxygen.ie/electric_penguins_ii_review.PAGE3662.html)
THE DUBLINER MAGAZINE – Album Review of “II”
“I thought this hotly-tipped Dublin group had broken up.
It wasn’t because they’d called their impressive debut album, Goodbye From The Electric Penguins. I’d heard talk on the street.
These days, there are two main figures in the group, which comes augmented for live performances. Between them, on these twelve new tracks, Mark Cummins and Paul Murphy play an impressive array of instruments, ranging from Mellotron and Moog to mandolin, flute and guitar. Both guys know their way around a recording studio, having worked for years as performers, arrangers and engineers.
Band names come from somewhere. Electric Penguins took theirs from the password in use at Paul McCartney’s gaff in Cavendish Square during the heady days of flower power. Electric Penguins wear their influences on their keyboards.
The sonic cartography of 11 connects Kraut-rock with English pastoral, pop whimsey with a brooding psychedelia and bright ambient wallpaper with dancefloor beats. And, on this album, often all on one track. As befits studio boffins, there’s a pleasing cohesiveness to this selection. Although there’s often a sense of the duo fighting the temptation to veer off on yet another unexpected diversion.
Julia Stephens combines a Syd Barrett air of disconnectedness with Mercury Rev poise. The meditative minimalism to the repetitive piano figure on Always, Always (7 mins 27 secs) recalls doomed self-styled French phonometrician Erik Satie.
The album centrepiece, Highgate Hill, is an out-of-body spoken word tone-poem that chronicles a journey through an unfamiliar London landscape. ”Only two more miles to go…” chimes a voice as the track trucks along with gentle ease. But what is it with this week that I’m immediately reminded of It’s Immaterial’s classic Driving Away From Home!
It must be a sign! A sign that big things beckon for Electric Penguins.”
- Eamon Carr, The Dubliner, September 2010