Today’s Song: Ireland’s Slyrydes Take You on Whirlwind Tour of Their Mind on “I Claim to Be Intelligent”

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The instruments roar, the anger screams, and the pained vocals deliver a gut-wrenching diatribe on Slyrydes’ “I Claim to Be Intelligent” with the struggles of mental health in the 21st century.
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Listen: “I Claim to Be Intelligent” – Slyrydes

It’s official: Ireland’s punk scene has its next big band in the making. Yep, 2019 introduced us to the haymaker-swinging, hard-truth telling of Irish giants like Fontaines DC and Murder Capital, some of the year’s best music and bands reviving the genre. What is 2020’s reply? Meet Slyrydes.

I Claim to Be Intelligent – Slyrydes

While the Galway four-piece’s bombastic, heart-on-sleeve roar will catch your ear, it’s the underlying vulnerability that’ll make you stay. A band since 2013, it’s only since 2018 they’ve chosen to take it seriously. “We played together the same way other people might meet up to play football or go to a knitting club.  We used to be so drunk at our shows that it would be chaos. But only for us onstage.  We hadn’t released any music or anything,” bassist Eoin Reilly says of the early days.

Bonded by great friendship and common experience with mental health issues, they released four singles last year—“Dangerous Animals, “Out Patience,” “Mental Health,” and “Point of View”—largely centered on these mental health struggles and the strain on the Irish health care system. “Our songs have a very heavy consistent theme surrounding mental health because that’s what we all know about and relate to,” says Reilly. The music captures the closeness of the band and the comfort they feel to explore these feelings together: “I’m not saying we’re a support group for each other but I’m not saying we’re not either.”

Which brings us to their newest single—and proof that the dry runs for Slyrydes are over: “I Claim to Be Intelligent.” Less angry than their previous works, it shows a vulnerable side that’s born out of their growth as songwriters. It starts with pounding drums and swirling, eerie guitars before Mark Raftery’s Irish brogue lands quick but calm—like being frantically soothed.

The song is a conversation in somebody’s head—a manic joyride with no beginning, middle, or end. “We’ve only noticed recently we’re not writing choruses at the moment. That’s in no way intentional. It’s a tangent. The music is a backdrop to despair and maybe feeling a bit lost,” says Reilly.

Slyrydes © AMW Visual

I often claim to be intelligent
Your constant joy makes you irrelevant
I can’t do this without you
I often claim to read the books you read
But I struggle to get out of bed
I can’t do this without you
I’m on it

The song really hits its stride in the second half, when the mania reaches its fever pitch. It’s two bars of lonely, staggered guitar and then it explodes.  The instruments roar, the anger screams, and Raftery’s pained vocals deliver a gut-wrenching diatribe on the struggles of mental health in the 21st century.

You try to talk to people but your head is out of whack
You suffer from depression and the boys think you’re no craic
Your heart is by your knees and you consider trying smack
Your head is getting ready for another panic attack

The desperation is palpable. Fear drips from every word. The bass line shakes your chest like the aforementioned panic attack. “I Claim to Be Intelligent” will move anyone who’s ever had mental health issues, and rock the hell out of anyone who hasn’t. It’s raw, emotive, and an exciting introduction to Ireland’s next big punk band.

Listen: “I Claim to Be Intelligent” – Slyrydes

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