Review : STAIRWELLS – ‘Stairwells’… Posted: 30/03/2015 by John O'Brien


STAIRWELLS are a new addition to the Dublin Hardcore scene, although more on the emo/melodic hardcore side of the fence. And as is commonplace these days, they’re made up of members from a number of other already established and notable bands including STARTERS, MILESTONES, OVER BEING UNDER, MORNING LIGHTS and FAMINE. They recorded their debut album very shortly after forming in October 2014 with Ciaran Parnell in January 2015, which was released for free via bandcamp on the 7th of March 2015, but quickly reached the monthly download limit in less than a day of being released.

Now! I wouldn’t be a regular listener to this style of music at all, but I’m always open to at least checking a band out before making any judgement on them. And in fairness to STAIRWELLS, they do it well and are far more palatable and accessible than most others in this style. Regardless of my own personal music tastes! I have to tip my hat to any band who can create such a well produced and accomplished release as this in just a few short months.

The album has eleven tracks yet it still only runs at just under the thirty minute mark, the brevity of which gives the album a feel of urgency. There are a couple of instrumental pieces at the beginning and middle as well as shorter tracks, like ‘I Know I Can’t’, that come across more as intros and interludes rather than proper full songs, but each track does lead perfectly into the next keeping the whole experience flowing nicely. Although after repeated listens it can get a little frustrating as tracks such as ‘Holyhead’ and ‘Magnets’ just come to a premature end. The hardcore vocals work for the most part, too. You’d expect a more straight forward clean melodic vocal for some of the more emotive parts, but STAIRWELLS keep the melodic hardcore approach going pretty much throughout, while keeping a steady air of meloncholy also.

Given each of the members involvement in other hardcore and punk bands, it’s difficult to tell where STAIRWELLS will go from here. But given the speed the band have produced this release, I’m sure it won;t be long before there’s more to hear form them. The bands self-titled “Stairwells” album is available to download for free from the band through dropbox… Physical copies will be available on a clear or black cassettes, limited to 50 copies of each. These are currently available to pre-order from the bands Bigcartel page and will ship late March / early April.

STAIRWELLS celebrates the release of their self-titled debut album with an intimate gig live at one of Dublin’s leading gig venues – The Mercantile, April 4th 2015. Guests on the night are: THE WINTER PASSINGAXECATCHERHOMECOMINGS.

Event Link:

Ian Kelly – Vocals
Scott Williams – Guitar
Jason Horgan – Bass
Keith Davis – Drums