Irish Alt Rock siblings Paul and Steph O’Sullivan have fused together a very modern and powerful sound with a taste of the Emerald Isle about it. The subtle Irish lilt in the vocals works well, especially in more ethereal tracks such as ‘Circle’ where the Hayley Williams style vocals go to quite another level. There is a haunting beauty to the songs which works well, vocally and lyrically they are a cut above the norm and the rhythm section drives it hard with the guitar filling the gaps nicely with the requisite power chords.
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By virtue of the Irish connection there is bound to be comparisons with that other great alternative band The Cranberries and there are certainly similarities, the vocal power is a force of nature and the pervasive darkness which has soaked into the songwriting can only come from a place renowned for forty years of ‘The Troubles’, although the band themselves do come from the more romantic, Atlantic wind swept side of the isle. The use of a xylophone works well too, adding the sinister-sweet undercurrent in some of the slower tracks and another layer of complexity in some of the more bombastic tunes. This is a terrific first album and there is bags of potential and much to be appreciated already. In future releases they may lose some of their Americanisms as they fully embrace the idea that they can be true to their own heritage and not have to borrow from elsewhere. The accidental American accent on the opening line of the superb ‘Forest Ablaze’ and the reference to ‘gasoline’ could’ve done without being there.
Lots of good songs but ‘Car Spin’ is a stand out track, raising goose bumps with the sneering sweet singing inviting the listener to share with the pain, “I wake when the car spins, its already done..” I’ve not heard a song as believable for some time, this must be a nightmare vision of the past, if not then hopefully it’s not an augury of the future, truly terrifying. In fact, the track spoilt the next few as the emotional investment in ‘Car Spin’ was such that the tracks following fell a bit flat in comparison. It may have served better being at the end of the album allowing the listening to go and fix themselves a stiff drink to recover.
Good song writing, fantastic vocals, big musical scores and they don’t look bad either, one for the future without a doubt, mum and dad O’Sullivan must be proud.