Afterthoughts? Vulnerability, the crippling sense of self-belief eroded by emotional trauma. This is the sound of this debut record by Irish siblings Paul (guitars) and Steph O’Sullivan (vocals). The collection moves you in a rare way; it makes you care for the feelings of others and transports you into an emotional vortex of music. This may not be standard fare for Decibel Geek readers, but it rocks also with an Emo vibe and the guitars are very much to the fore.
I became aware of the band in the summer last year, being mightily impressed by the songs that were released early, including “Afterthoughts” and “Car Spin“. As I understand it, the album was originally going to be released in October 2016 but was delayed until 2017 as part of the management of the band’s career. It was worth the wait!
This is an unusual release from the more Metal-tinged Spinefarm records, but the tunes rip away at your soul and leave you breathless with the power from Steph‘s delicate vocals. Is it rock? Well, if you’re looking for moshing madness or blast beats, this may leave you a little disappointed. However, if you like Alternative Rock, this may be to your taste. I just love the way in which the whole album bewitches with its tales of lovelorn lost and panoramic soundscapes of Celtic abandon.
Leading from the front is the anthem of the album. “Afterthoughts” has the quiet entrance that sparks into life with the blasting chorus. The vocals are quite frankly awesome. The feel of the song is emotional and pleading. The vibe has been set for the whole collection.
Another throw of the dice and “Forest Blaze” stomps out with the something to “cure my apathy“…Images of burning forests dominate their video for this song and the metaphor of cleansing life rings through clearly. Interesting stuff.
“Car Spin” is soaked in bile and bitter regret. The chopping guitar and soaring harmonies make this a personal favorite, but so many of these songs are so good it would be unfair to pick a favored child.
The rest of the record is less strong than these three tunes, but “Safe Haven” has great pop rock sensibility and “The Lake” reveals dark currents of power in its brooding beauty.
The whole record strikes a fantastic balance between darkness in its mood and a playful innocence. However, it mostly rocks like some amazing throwback to bands like Hole and All About Eve. I continue to play it regularly and find it best enjoyed in the blackest of rooms with headphones on…”I hear you here in my own safe haven“.