Border county sound
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