Shrug Life - debut album, Strange Brew gig

Tue, Sep 26, 2017

Shrug Life.

"WRITER'S BLOCK and common cold, the pointless fear of growing old...wearing cheap synthetic fibres with unspoken Western guilt". Add to that a crap cup of coffee "with your name spelt wrong" and you have...'First World Problems'.

This is the opening track of ¯\_(?)_/¯, Shrug Life's somewhat self-titled debut album, and it sets out their stall brilliantly. On the surface, a light hearted look at common complaints, but underneath lies a critique of complacency and resignation, as the song's chorus points out: "First world problems, aimless and passive...we've no patience to ever solve them." Musically this dissonance is conveyed by the song's jaunty jangle being brilliantly interrupted by a Pavement-esque freakout.

The album, by the Dublin trio of Danny Carroll (vocals/guitar), Keith Broni (bass), and Josh Donnelly (drums), delivers on the critical praise which has seen Shrug Life called “Dublin’s premiere observers of the sterility of Irish modernity” ( and Carroll’s lyrics described as "some of the smartest and wittiest that the country has to offer” (The Thin Air).


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