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Cliffs generate excitement for their new album at Next House

Cliffs of Dooneen
With Pooka Stew.
Next House.
Jan. 29.

By Anne S. Tsao and Matt Kineiko

*e's not Bono. And they're not Ugly Kid Joe. But they've got the generic look of both. Eric Shaun Murphy led the Cliffs of Dooneen in a two-hour performance at Next House on Jan. 29.

This Jamaica Plains band is composed of Martin Crotty on guitar, Ira Nulton on bass guitar, Lex Lianos on drums, and the singing and guitar playing of Murphy. The group is planning to perform on Feb. 26 at the Paradise and on March 17 at TT the Bear's.

With an MTV video out as well as the album The Dog Went East, and God Went West (a second album was released today), Cliffs of Dooneen are attracting more fans across the nation. Their style is something of a cross between alternative and light rock. But this hasn't stopped them from signing a contract to tour with Eddie Money for two weeks.

Although they've been classified as alternative, Cliffs of Dooneen band members feel their music is closer to rock. Of course, according to drummer Lex Lianos, "we just do what we do."

The Cliffs of Dooneen set featured everything from "Animal Song" to "Carol." The beat was fine as were the words, but the band members failed to display their instrumental talents in the individual solos -- and there were too few solos as well. Nevertheless, Cliffs of Dooneen made many fans at previous MIT performances at Strat's Rat and MacGregor House.

The night started out with opening group Pooka Stew, another local band. Pooka Stew began playing an hour set to a dance floor of four people. Surprisingly, within minutes the opening act drew a packed crowd of new fans. They closed with the song "Rock 'n' Roll," written by Lou Reed and covered by Jane's Addiction, and after a brief set change, Cliffs of Dooneen were ready to perform.

There will be many people eagerly awaiting the new album Under Tow and watching for the new MTV video "Holy Man," which airs next week. The band hopes to have as much success with its new single as it had with its most well-known song to date, "Through an Open Window." Perhaps in the future, Cliffs of Dooneen will come back and play songs from their new album. MIT will receive them well. After all, they've got good music ... and they're no Ugly Kid Joe.