DESERT HEARTS

En­tur­bu­la­tion = No Chal­lenge

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - CHRIS JONES

No Danc­ing ★★★

For more than a decade, Desert Hearts have been one of Belfast’s best-kept se­crets. Their third al­bum presents a mel­lower, more con­sid­ered side of the band – now a four-piece with the ad­di­tion of for­mer Gen­eral Fi­asco duo Stu­art Bell and Stephen Lea­cock to core mem­bers Char­lie Mooney and Roisin Ste­wart. Largely gone is the fe­ro­cious post-punk of live favourites Sea Punk and No More Art, as well as some of the raw emo­tion of 2006’s Hotsy Totsy Na­gasaki. In­stead, the quar­tet fo­cus on mid-tempo songs with swelling melodies and lush ar­range­ments. The baroque pop of Pow­er­trash and the stir­ring Bare­barbu are ex­cel­lent, while The Usual builds to a thrilling mael­strom of gui­tars and crash­ing drums. En­tur­bu­la­tion = No Chal­lenge is an ac­com­plished in­die rock record, but a few more mo­ments of aban­don might have el­e­vated it still fur­ther. Down­load: Bare­barbu, The Usual

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