Border county sound

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews -

THE FLAWS Achiev­ing Vague­ness Ar­rivals Dun­dalk is home to The Corrs, but it’s also been the stomp­ing ground of The Flaws, and not a fid­dle or a did­dle in sight. The quar­tet hail from var­i­ous parts of Mon­aghan and Louth, but they cut their teeth play­ing gigs in Dun­dalk’s Spirit Store, grad­u­at­ing from indie no-marks to se­ri­ous alt.rock con­tenders. Spirit Store pro­pri­etor Derek Turner saw some­thing spe­cial go­ing on here and took The Flaws un­der his wing, lead­ing them through an abortive ma­jor la­bel deal and into Grouse Lodge to record this ma­ture, ac­com­plished de­but with pro­ducer Gareth Man­nix.

Tread­ing a fine line be­tween Mum-rock earnest­ness and Killers-style pre­ten­tious­ness, the band find them­selves in a very re­spectable mid­dle ground, com­ing across as not too shal­low but not too up them­selves ei­ther. Open­ing track You and I sets the scene with crafty con­fi­dence, singer and lyri­cist Paul Finn step­ping for­ward and voic­ing the band’s col­lec­tive vi­sion with ad­mirable skill and re­straint.

Slow Dance may tap the shoul­ders of that el­e­gantly flawed Dublin four-piece, U2, but No Room, 1981, Six­teen and Idolise are closer to the lean, stream­lined sound of The Im­me­di­ate and Deloren­tos. And when they do re­mind you of bands past, it tends to be the good ’uns, such as Echo & the Bun­ny­men and New Or­der.

Th­ese days, any bunch of chancers can knock off an album in their par­ents’ garage and put them­selves on Bebo, but it takes a band with a lit­tle more fire in their bel­lies and a lot more ideas in the bank to make as cred­itable a de­but as this one. A flawed gem in­deed. www.theflaws.com

KEVIN COURT­NEY Down­load tracks: No Room, 1981, Six­teen

Achiev­ing very good­ness: The Flaws

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