I was doing a bit of nostalgia tripping the other day when I stumbled across some videos by the band Fatima Mansions, and was reminded how totally awesome they were. Fatima Mansions (named after a grotty housing scheme in Dublin) stake a claim as being the best Irish band ever, in my opinion. They were fronted by one Cathal Coughlan (who had previously sung in the equally culty Microdisney in the mid 1980's) and his bitingly sharp lyrics gave them the edge over other bands of the era. Channeling the discontent of an entire generation, he heavily ripped the piss out of the church, the state, politicians, the church, societal conventions, sexual mores and most of all the church. The band were musically diverse, being able to turn their hand to anything from hard rock to techno, and their 1991 cover of REM's Shiny Happy People has to be heard to be believed.
Mr Coughlan is still very musically active, and co-incidentally released his fifth solo album only two weeks ago. I have yet to check this out, but I will definitely give it a listen and see if time has mellowed the man. I seriously doubt it. You can check out Cathal Coughlan's current work at his website and listen to music on his myspace.