Feather in their cap

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - TONY CLAY­TON-LEA


Is ★★★★


There is an aw­ful lot to be said for seclu­sion, specif­i­cally when it comes to cre­at­ing some­thing that not only has more than a snow­ball’s chance of sur­viv­ing un­der the glare and heat of stage lights but also dis­plays no small level of dis­tinc­tive­ness.

Fact is, this de­but al­bum from Lim­er­ick’s Bleed­ing Heart Pi­geons has more go­ing on con­struc­tively in one song than many other bands have across a suite of tracks, so be­ing re­moved – phys­i­cally, cre­atively – from out­side in­flu­ences has clearly helped.

Such dis­tance re­ally shows in the range of sounds here. Any­thing You Want is a fine pop song that oozes out of earshot with a coda of del­i­cate gui­tarpick­ing so lovely you want it to last for much longer.

In The For­est, I Feel Bizarrely More At Home is a pe­cu­liar and be­guil­ing song (that ti­tle!) which ends with thud­ding, stac­cato rhythms that bring to mind road­side jack­ham­mers. Vapour is full of deliri­ously crush­ing/ crunch­ing gui­tars; Dancer is woozy, clas­sic-era Hu­man League laid out for begin­ners; and for over eight min­utes A Hal­lu­ci­na­tion trans­forms from slight pop tune to gran­ite-tough sonic as­sault.

Length­ier tracks such as Nau­sea and Song With No Mean­ing (each ar­rive and de­part in just un­der 10 min­utes) al­low even fur­ther ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with vary­ing re­sults.

The for­mer suf­fers some­what from gui­tar-noodling histri­on­ics – self-in­dul­gent as much as self-ex­pres­sive – that wouldn’t be out of place on a Ma­hav­ishnu Or­ches­tra al­bum, while the lat­ter con­sists of six min­utes of dreamy fol­lowed by three min­utes of eerie.

De­spite the ap­par­ent flaws in th­ese two songs, it’s im­mensely re­ward­ing to lis­ten to a band that has vir­tu­ally no com­pul­sion to stoop to for­mu­laic song con­fig­u­ra­tions. It all adds up to a bunch of mu­si­cians that can eas­ily man­age to tie vary­ing strands to­gether with­out get­ting a hair out of place. bleed­ing­heart­pi­geons.com

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