Limelight: What Ireland's Megacone Are Bringing To Post-Rock

Megacone standing on a roof top

Absolute yop out of it! If, like Megacone’s Ross Kelly, you’re from the town of Mullingar in County Westmeath and think something’s great, that’s the phrase you need.

It’s what his brother says to camera at the end of the video to their titanic new tune Absolute Magnitude. It’s hard not to agree. “I can’t see how I’d function in a band without three guitars now,” says Kelly, one of the triumvirate. “This way you have melody, harmony, an extra rhythmic thing on top. It just works for us.”

The five-piece’s post-rock/tech metal sound lands somewhere near Scale The Summit’s pitch, but there’s Animals As Leaders in that yop-worthy Absolute Magnitude, and The Aristocrats’ cheeky fusion fun in proggy polka Dance Of The Sand Wizard. With the rougher edges yet to be filed down, their smartly structured instrumentals are served up with a Primus-y twinkle in the eye.

I can’t see how I’d function in a band without three guitars now!

The five met just over two years ago on the Popular Music course at Ballyfermot College Of Further Education in Dublin. Their tutor would illustrate theory with examples from Steely Dan, the Grateful Dead and, er, Sting. “Me and [guitarist] Podge had this house we rented near the college,” says Kelly. “We converted the living room into a massive jam space and everyone would come and party there. It was great craic. It’s a rough place but nobody called the cops. The guys up the road used to lead their horse into our garden to eat the grass!”

Their other groups fell by the wayside as their friendship and Megacone’s noodly sound both grew stronger. Axemen Kelly, Podge and Conor bonded over metal; rhythm section Bala and Nimai (they’re cousins) were more into Genesis, and all five hit the moshpit together when Haken, The Aristocrats and Snarky Puppy hit their shores recently.

“The thing is,” says Kelly, “we fit everywhere. We’ve played [Irish indie festival] KnockanStockan, and [mainstream event] Electric Picnic. We’ve supported Deadly Circus Fire and Ozric Tentacles in clubs in Dublin. We’ve played the Metal For The Masses competition for people moshing, and at jazz clubs for people sitting with arms folded at tables and shushing each other.”

Last year’s debut EP Fondle Fantasy (it’s available on Spotify) featured epic The Accidental and delightful post‑rock jig Ouncy Castle. On April 16, Record Store Day, they’ll offer their 12-inch of newer, even better songs, like Crocodile Dundalk and Straight For The Juggler. The band, who are all music teachers, plan to release their first album later this year and take it to the next level.

“We love teaching,” Kelly says, “but we want to make music and not have to do anything else. We want the band to be as good as we can be, and play as often as possible. That’s all.”

Absolute yop out of it, Megacone.


Ross Kelly (guitar), Pauric ‘Podge’ Murray (guitar/flute), Conor Callan (guitar), Bala Blake (bass), Nimai Blake (drums)

sounds like
Herberts channelling Animals As Leaders and Haken. While on nitrous oxide

current release
Fondle Fantasy is available now on Dimestore Records

Check out Megacone’s Facebook page for more.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.