Bell x1 - Flock
Bell x1 release their third album 'Flock'. Impressively it has already been at number 1 in the Irish music charts and they're hoping for the same success over here. They've been dubbed as Ireland's version of Radiohead, although the band is far more straightforward and upbeat than their English counterparts.
Flock is a very diverse album. It opens with the track 'Reacharound' which is pure rock, full of driving guitar riffs, and closes with the emotional 'Lamposts'. The nine tracks sandwiched between show how the band has grown, instrumentally they're much tighter and they seem more comfortable with their own sound on this record than they have on previous releases. An example of this is 'Rocky Took A Lover', it has a warm glow in spite of some bittersweet lyrics and is packed full of different sounds from strumming acoustic guitars to twanging electrics.
Another example is 'My First Born For A Song', that sees strong piano chords mixed in with the guitar based sound. 'Natalie' shows Paul Noonan's vocals take on a more throaty, scratchy edge, backed up by vocals from the rest of the band.
Guitarist Dave Geraghty takes centre stage on the amazing 'He Said, She Said'. 'Bad Skin Day' that follows, has the same effect on the listener as 'West Of Her Shoulder' did two years before; this is probably the stand out track on the album followed closely by the beautiful but subtle 'Just Like Mr Benn'. 'Trampoline' sees Bell x1 take on the 'mighty' Coldplay, Noonan sounds incredibly like Chris Martin, which some will probably see as an unwise move but nevertheless is still a good song.
Overall this is a good album with a variety of different sounds that's bound to impress old fans and gain them some new ones along the way.