The Spiritual Leaders – Albania Away

It may not be as obvious as Manchester, Liverpool, or Bristol for producing great bands but over recent years we have found that Cavan in Ireland has been doing just that, our ears captivated by the likes of The Radioactive Grandma, Juggling Wolves, Ape Rising and Fertile Reptile among many. Now we add The Spiritual Leaders to the list, an indie rock trio which as their new mini album shows offer a rich and varied palette of sound.

The Spiritual Leaders consists of vocalist/guitarist David Reilly, lead guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Fergus Brady and drummer Cathal Brady. The band released a self-titled debut album in the closing weeks of 2012, a record introducing a sound seeded in the inspirations of artists such as The Smiths, Radiohead, Joy Division, New Order, Whipping Boy, Pixies, Stone Roses, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Buckley, and Van Morrison but as within latest offering Albania Away bears its own individuality.

Recorded and produced by Rob Newman (Therapy?, Pet Crow) in Snug Recording Studios, Derby, Albania Away quickly fascinated with opener Picture on the Wall. An electronic thread led to a lively rhythmic shuffle and subsequent melodic jangle with an eighties indie hue. As Reilly’s vocals join the temptation the swing of the track is in full command, the song catching the imagination with its Lloyd Cole tinged character and boisterous sound.

Fatten the Calf follows and it too embraces an eighties indie/new wave lining around its infectious swing led by the seriously magnetic bass. Though seemingly slim in its textures, the wonderfully unpredictable song is a thick weave of enterprise and post punk nurtured suggestion while next up You Know Me bristles with more muscular rock ‘n’ roll attitude and a matching physical touch yet also has tinges of that post punk breeding within discord spun enterprise akin to The Pixies.

Predominantly instrumental, the outstanding Bell Jar is a captivating slice of melodic intimation with XTC-esque radiance to its atmospheric stroll while Temporary, which features Barra McGuirk on lead guitar and synthetic strings, made for beguiling acoustic companion, its stringed serenade a haunting pleasure.

Underwater With You superbly completes the release, initially an electronic teasing which is soon bound in melodic guitar wires alongside subtle but equally fertile rhythms and voice. It too has an evocative quality, an atmospheric air coloured by the band’s craft and imagination.

With every listen Albania Away captivated and fascinated with increasing strength, ears increasingly seduced by each passing minute; The Spiritual Leaders giving more proof that though still a relative secret beyond its borders Cavan is a hot bed of unique sound and real pleasure.

Albania Away is out now; available @ https://thespiritualleaders.bandcamp.com/releases and https://open.spotify.com/album/0nwrKNcbi3xF03VMQYUjqF

https://www.facebook.com/thespiritualleadersrock/

Pete RingMaster 14/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Fertile Reptile – EP

Life’s trials and tribulations can be said to be character building and certainly it is easy to feel that about the Fertile Reptile sound. An acoustic parade of craft, passion, and energy, it is a rousing affair with a definite emotive edge as eagerly shown by the trio’s new EP, cryptically named, EP.

The band is based in Co Cavan Ireland, a place already tattooed on our eager senses through another threesome, The Radioactive Grandma. Large in space, small in populace, the county has a music heart which cannot be ignored, for us that band and now Fertile Reptile stand right at the centre. Both bands have an acoustic rock bred sound and there is no escaping thinking of the sadly demised Radioactive Grandma when listening to the Fertile Reptile EP, that band’s Johno Leader indeed mixed and mastered the quartet of tracks, but it swiftly and firmly proved the latter has its own distinct sound. It is a proposition which also teased with essences sparking thoughts of The Wonderstuff and The Woodentops in varying degrees which equally only added to its rich captivation.

As mentioned the band’s journey to date has not been plain sailing. Formed early 2009, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Peter Denton, bassist Jamie Byrne, and drummer Dwayne Kiernan leapt into the local live scene taking punk, metal, and ska influences into their intimately themed songs. “Due to mental and physical health difficulties” though the outfit disbanded towards the close of the following year but their friendship endured and saw them coming together to jam from time to time and work on other projects. In 2015, Kiernan underwent surgery for a rare spinal disorder but complications left him with brain injury and mobility issues leading him to have to give up playing drums. Music will have its day though and he turned to the bodhrán and in 2018 the three came together with a couple of acoustic tracks in Denton’s pocket and emerged as Fertile Reptile; his electric guitar swapped for an acoustic incitement to join the electric enticement of bass and that, as within their first EP, quickly addictive intimately manipulative bodhrán.

To be honest everything about the band’s EP got under the skin and quickly, its first track, Can’t Feel Anything, invading with a swing no hip or foot could ignore. Denton’s guitar is a smiling enticement, the darker hues of Byrne’s bass the perfect companion as Kiernan’s rhythm on goatskin, or whatever his bodhrán wears, dances. Denton’s vocals equally had ears and thoughts keenly involved as the song eagerly strolled all the time inviting and receiving enthused participation.

Virulently infectious it is a tremendous start to the release and quickly matched in catchiness and enterprise by Forget About It. It was with this magnet of a song that The wonder Stuff spicing more firmly revealed itself and similarly there is a tint of XTC to its gleeful canter. Like a spirited embrace of summer around reflective words, enlivened even more by the violin of Christophe Capewell, the track had body and appetite bouncing before making way for the equally irresistible Abusement Park. The rawer rock heart of the band’s sound fuels and shapes the character and imagination of the song, its emotive dispute and physical boisterousness together rather than at odds in its galvanic shuffle; Kiernan’s zestful backing vocals another alluring texture in the contagion.

There is a calmer pose to closing track, Tubby Lad, though there is no avoiding its instinctive catchiness and inherent spirit. Again lyrics tap into intimate thoughts as melody and harmonies caressed an already greedy appetite for the band’s sound, the song a powerhouse of incitement and vibrancy even in its reposeful gait.

We have had the pleasure to check out some truly enjoyable and thrilling treats this past year and the Fertile Reptile EP stands tall among them.

The EP is out now; available @ https://fertilereptile.bandcamp.com/album/ep

 

https://www.facebook.com/fertilereptile/    https://twitter.com/ReptileFertile    https://www.instagram.com/fertilereptile/

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright