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4 Walls E.P.
by: Stripped
Review By: Gordon Smith

Anyone who believes that British music is dying had better open their minds up quickly, because Stripped are out to disprove it all. Hailing from Northern Ireland, Stripped play music that is so laid back it's almost horizontal, and this demo is all the better for it. Opener "4 Walls" owes something, lyrically, to Lennon and McCartney's "I'm only sleeping", but puts a late 90's spin on it, and makes it sound fresh and original. Next track "Secrets" is a surprise, laid-back in music but not in lyrics, as the vocalist fires out some scathing lines, including "I just pray that you can sleep", proving that some bands don't need to yell into a microphone to create effect. "Love is gone", the third track, is an upbeat affair with a great catchy chorus which, especially in the vocals, shows a nod towards The Levellers at their peak. Then it is all slowed down for the final track 'Lately', an acoustic ballad, it shows them stripped down to a guitar and vocals for an epic tearjerker which, for me, didn't hold my interest to the end of the track. Ironic proof, then, that Stripped work best when they are not stripped down.
7/10 Gordon Smith


A 4-song EP, "4 Walls E.P." is the commercial debut from an Irish acoustic pop/rock group.  The first song "4 Walls" reminds me somewhat of The Beatles, but with a more 90's feel to it.   Nice harmonies and a beat that could easily fit into any contemporary alternative radio format. What really strikes me about much of this CD is its uncanny resemblance to the music of George Harrison.  The vocals on the song "Secrets" sound a lot like George in the mid-late 1970's.  The chord progression and the distinct guitar licks are even more Harrsionesque.  Being a Harrison worshipper myself, I love it.  However, if you're one of those people who never appreciated George's music, you may find this CD a little too derivative.That isn't to say that these guys are without songwriting talent.   In fact, the songs are all quite good and do display a little variety.  The tune "Lately" is probably the most unique of the 4.  A sad lover's lament, the song features simple solo acoustic guitar and gives the vocalist a chance to stand out.Recommended for fans of The Beatles and those who enjoy acoustic pop.

-Review by Fred Wheeler
1999 Indie Journal



Stripped - The Girl with Cartoon Eyes EP  By Limeygit

This 4 song E.P weighs in at a tiny 12 minutes, little more than a mouthful in fact, but it certainly points to a very promising future indeed. Stripped are a four piece from Northern Ireland, a bunch of guys in their twenties who are knocking out three minute indie pop bliss like veterans. Think acoustic guitars, cute, but not bland lyrics, a solid yet laid back rhythm sections and a decent voice, and you are in the right area. Imagine the kind of tunes George Harrison would write if he was a young guy again, and couldn't afford proper production facilities. That is the only genuine criticism I can throw at 'The Girl with Cartoon Eyes', the songwriting comes through despite some muggy, loose production .

That aside you get a display of solid songwriting from a band with obvious potential . Given their ability to knock out genuinely memorable little tunes that manage to be familiar without being tired, one can easily see them being gobbled up by a major company either in the UK or US. With decent production facilities, and assuming they can stretch the quality of songs out from 12 minutes to a full-length album then I foresee big things for stripped.

Stripped "Out of my head"

a review by eamonn p keyes submitted on 18/04/2001

It's a retrospective collection of their work so far, and is an immensely playable piece of shininess.The cynical pigeonholers would label the content as song-orientated, guitar driven acoustic-based rock, which though accurate, belies the breadth and quality of the compositions.

Stripped are fortunate, in that they possess an almost immediately recognisable style..the lead vocals are pretty characteristic, and the style pervades the collection, giving it a homogenous identity, despite the differing styles, studios and time periods represented.

So...the songs...what about them?

Most people will have heard "The Girl with Cartoon Eyes" at some stage, I'd venture, and it's indicative of what they do. Melodic, short and to the point songs, utterly commercial and with layered voices blending into a comfortable textured sound. "Black And White" reminds me of the 60s vocal bands, like the Turtles, Mommas and The Poppas and even, strangely, of early Frank Zappa of the same period...the "We're Only In It For The Money" band.

My fave tracks are "Cartoon Eyes", "Black And White" and the lovely "Secrets" .

They're a good band with a flair for writing catchy songs, and hopefully that'll continue...I'd like to hear some weightier more introspective stuff from them...but at the end, it's a CD I can stick on and listen to as a whole....and that's something you can do rarely todays,especially from local acts.

I'd give it 7.5 out of ten.

Stripped - Live in Milton Keynes Review

...But none of this had prepared me for what I rate as the best surprise of the night - the sheer acoustic power and quality, infectious sense of fun and immaculate three pronged vocals of the boys from Ballymena. I spent the entire Stripped set draped over the front of the stage with a big stupid grin on my face. These guys are wonderful...

Review by J.J.

Left: Stripped live at BURBs showcase - Milton Keynes

A selection of reviews for different songs from

Absolutely WONDERFUL!!!

YES! I SIMPLY LOVE THE HARMONIES! You don't find that very often in pop/rock anymore. Very refreshing to hear that. The instruments and voices all blend well together. This is a GREAT song. I work in radio and can see you guys making it in commercial radio. Keep it up and keep churning out more like this one!

Great track! Sharp, poppy melody with lovable slacker guitars. Crazy about this one...

Cool sound. Great vocals! I like the chord change for the chorus that leads from the verse. The production makes the song sound exciting. Good job overall!!!

Good beat, very relaxing song. I felt like I was vacationing on an island....good job!