Music: Constant Adventure by The Flaws
On first hearing the new album from this Monaghan-Louth four-piece, I had to check that I hadn't accidentally put on a Snow Patrol album.
The title track, which opens this album, is cut from the same cloth as latter Snow Patrol -- a slickly produced, radio-friendly, hook-laden tune boasting a singer that sounds uncannily like Gary Lightbody, and several other tracks on the album could stump even seasoned Snow Patrol watchers.
Choice-nominated for their 2007 Achieving Vagueness album, The Flaws didn't quite go on to the level that some had predicted. This album could redress the situation -- along with the Ham Sandwich record and the brilliant Two Door Cinema Club album, Constant Adventure is the most obviously commercial release by an Irish band this year. The post-punk energy of their first album has been supplanted by a more mature, if middle-of-the-road, sound.
Make Good, Comfort Quilts and the slow-tempo Libraries deserve to enjoy wall-to-wall airplay -- even if listeners may confuse Paul Finn's vocals for those of a certain Northern Irish frontman. All three -- plus the title track -- are finely crafted, classic pop tunes that may not stop you in your tracks, but there's some serious skill at play.
Unfortunately, much of the charm that was so evident on their debut is missing here. The high-gloss production detracts, rather than enhances a number of songs, and others, particularly Eastern Shores, seem a little half-baked.
Burn it: Make Good; Comfort Quilts