Navigator EP

by The Plague Monkeys

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J M Tracey
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J M Tracey So pleased to see this EP on Bandcamp from one of the best Irish bands. All tracks are favourites. Favorite track: Star Country.
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*Proceeds from this download will go to Breast Cancer Ireland in memory of Suriya Moodliar*



"Where to begin? It's been 20 years since The Plague Monkeys unleashed their 'Navigator' EP. I probably couldn't have told you exactly why I liked it so much at the time, and I'd more than likely struggle to two decades on, but I will attempt to do so!

Do you remember being introduced to the music of artists like Mary Margaret O'Hara, Portishead, or Stina Nordenstam? It's what you might describe as uneasy listening; or at least it is at first. With 'The Navigator' EP, The Plague Monkeys served up an hors d'oeuvre that was alien to my reserved palate at the time, but I quickly grew to love it, and the aftertaste has stuck with me to this day.

The vocals of Carol Keogh weave and float around a spaced out plateau of sounds created by Donal O'Mahony; this sound would be further enhanced when Barry Roden and Thomas Haugh joined the band soon after. The songs haven't lost any of their allure over the passage of time.

Think back to music in 1996, it was dominated by Britpop and the anthems that would soundtrack what was dubbed club culture. What The Plague Monkeys lacked in power chords and BPMs, they made up for with the ethereal imagery in their songs.

I can still remember the first time that the video for 'Star Country' appeared on No Disco (that wonderful show that ran on RTE TV for many years); it was as good as anything that I had seen on the show; this is high praise when you consider the high standards that the show set for itself.

It's not like I have had to re-introduce myself to songs like 'The Plague Monkeys, 'Gyroscope' and 'Few Words Is Better', because the truth is, I've continued listen to this EP regularly over the years. Maybe I will grow tired of it at some point, but my strongest instincts tell me that this won't happen."

Debut EP from The Plague Monkeys released by Crosstown Music, April 1997. © Tundra. ℗ Crosstown Music 1997.


released April 10, 1997

All titles O'Mahony/Keogh.

Cover Design – Simon Roche
Photography – Simon Roche
Written By – Donal O'Mahony
Written By, Vocals – Carol Keogh

Original 4-Track Recordings
Recorded by Donal O'Mahony
Electric and Acoustic Guitars - Donal O'Mahony

the devil is in the details

the lighthouse is the marriage of a mirror and a lamp
the mirror and the lamp are married in the lighthouse



all rights reserved


Carol Keogh Ireland

Irish singer and songwriter, Carol Keogh, has written and sung lead vocals for a number of Irish bands including The Plague Monkeys, The Tycho Brahe (Tychonaut), The Natural History Museum (with Dunk Murphy) as well as a prominent guest role as lyricist and vocalist on three albums by Autamata
Keogh's first solo release (backed by The City Fathers), "Mongrel City", was released in 2014.
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Track Name: Star Country
Take my words, I will borrow yours
Between the substance of thought and the substrate of language
A voice was caught
That sings to me in my sleep


This dreamed collective
Of a death ship and a death march
Sails across the proscenium arch
To touch that star


On dry land
This savage savant was trained
I can reap and sow
I can drink and go crazy

Distilling image out of ether
Did I dream that we should meet?

Take my words, I will borrow yours again
Distilling sound out of the ether
Did I dream that we should meet?
As the shore-lights of a harbour
And the search-lights of a fleet

Or as the night-lights of a plane
Your destination

Track Name: Gyroscope
Another planet in transit
A relative motion

Something made out of spinning glass
A coloured revolution
Something formed out of points of light
An orbital illusion

Familiar scientific formulae
Your placebo, your control

Stone me
Don't expect it to yield
Stone me
Don't expect it to heal
Stone me
Don't expect it to feel

Where does it end?
The divergence of trends
How can you hope?

When you are left out of the book
When your name is erased
When you are left out of the book
You are a heretic
And the devil is in the details

Something made out of spinning glass
A coloured revolution
Something made out of points of light
Heretical solution

Stone me…
The devil is in the detail…
Track Name: 'Few Words' is Better
If I made a film about life without you
It would only take minutes
If I made a film about life without you
I would crawl through my house

I would leave notes on my chairs
I would leave snow on the stairs
I would feel there

My eye is a camera
Swallowing light fields
Denoting absence

So take my photograph, take mine
Take my photograph, take mine
Track Name: The Plague Monkeys
Lick horse, kick horse
He is tied in a field
He knows nothing
Of a swan on your shelf
Or a rose bowl in a suburban window

This killer apathy
Stretches over me and forms a carapace
A living shell
A vicious ring
I'm so vaguely sick of everything

Bloody foreland
Rhesus negative cove
Mindscapes of that pure blind
Indifference to mankind
Loaded as a weapon
Where in the system is a virus

I thought the perfect metaphor
Like a powerful magnet
Would hold open the doors
Municipal doors

Lick horse, kick horse
He is tied in a field
He knows nothing
Of this antibiotic
Aroma of death
Like sugar on your breath