Album Review | May – June

Album Review  May – June

Ciaran Lavery & Ryan Vail | Sea Legs 

When two musically very different artists united, ‘Sea Legs’ was the exquisite result. Their debut collaboration of seven tracks flows like the sea itself with its water themed melodies. Throughout the album, Ciaran’s rich yet serene voice and Ryan’s husky, intense tones combine perfectly to capture your heart. Intense piano, acoustics and haunting synths penetrate your soul. Every song tells a story, descriptively delivered by Ciaran’s vocals and Ryan’s atmospheric, instrumental magic. Soothing, ambient and emotive, Sea Legs immerses you into the essence of Irish coastal life which you will want to return to again and again like the waves. Stacy Fitzpatrick


The Charlatans | Modern Nature

After losing their drummer Jon Brookes to brain cancer last year, The Charlatans set about making an upbeat album, and that’s just what they’ve achieved with Modern Nature. The album has the Hammond sound and bouncy basslines that Charlatans’ fans have come to expect, but it’s performed in a more ambient way. This effort echoes the upbeat vibe of the Wonderland album, with tracks like So Oh and Come Home baby. A band that continually reinvents itself and its sound, you never quite know what to expect with a new Charlatans album, but the lads have struck gold yet again with this critically acclaimed album. Donald Twain




Big Dark Love | Murder By Death

Big Dark Love pokes at love with a stick until it bites back. Let’s examine the beast. Awful questions are asked in “Send Me Home” – how far would you go to stop the suffering of someone you love? This song will break your heart.  Meantime, in “Dream in Red,” a body is being dragged to the river. Piano rings an alarm, as cello scrapes a path deeper into the woods and scratchy electronics muster horror. The title track offers drums reflecting the singer pounding on the door, shouting “let me in.” But it’s probably better if you don’t. This album hides inside itself. It’s not always easy. Or obvious. But it’s worth it. Cara Gibney


Trucker Diablo | Rise Above The Noise





Now returning to the local rock scene after a brief hiatus, Trucker Diablo’s latest album, Rise Above the Noise, is a masterclass in Southern fried classic rock. At times quite heavy in tempo and style (such as lead single ‘Party Like They Started the End of the World’), often rather country-tinged (check out opening track ‘Fight Life’) and containing one of the most beautiful ballads you’ll ever hear in the form of ‘Where Angels Fly’, this crowd-funded album is a fantastic and triumphant reintroduction of the Big Truck. For fans of Black Stone Cherry and Lynyrd Skynyrd, you will definitely be pleased with this effort. Melanie Brehaut


Selene Paradise |  Lost

Amidst the grunt and raw power of the NI metal scene, symphonic metallers Selene stand out like a beautiful maiden in a group of trolls (sorry dudes!). Fronted by the angelic sounding Shonagh Lyons, the band have improved markedly since forming in 2013, with latest release Paradise Over demonstrating their talent brilliantly. Full of classy vocals, epic guitar work and themes of love and loss, they have hit the symphonic jackpot – never an easy feat. The highlight is the title track, with its choral intro and powerful beat, and topped with Lyons’ elegant vocals. In short, this is symphonic metal excellence. Melanie Brehaut



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