Saturday 16 December 2017

The Glaoming: The Gloaming 2 album review - 'They justify trad supergroup tag'

Album reviews: The Gloaming, LNZNDRF, Mothers, Gazebos, Hollywood Vampires

The members of The Gloaming.
The members of The Gloaming.

Eamon Carr

Eamon Carr reviews this week's album releases:

The Gloaming — The Gloaming 2 (Real World)

The notion of a musical supergroup took with the arrival of Cream in the 1960s. Creating magical vocal interplay, Crosby, Still and Nash quickly followed. Curiously, I was in the wings at the birth of a few such experiments. Bad Company — made up of men from Free, Moot the Hoople and King Crimson — had the requisite alchemy, but a dodgy US prog band (who my Samoan attorney warns I shouldn’t mention) launched in New York, just as Talking Heads, Suicide and Blondie were setting the agenda, didn’t.

You can usually spot those with real merit. When trad fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes decided to work with a fresh musical palette, he made some inspired calls. The debut album by Martin and chums was well received. But hours of playing together since then has honed the work. This new 12-track collection takes things to a higher level.

With so much instrumental and vocal talent at their disposal, hitting the right balance in an ensemble context could have presented a dilemma. But the production and deftly-applied piano skills of New Yorker Thomas Bartlett helps coalesce the session ingredients into a gloriously balanced set. Iarla Ó Lionáird demonstrates how he possesses one of the most mesmerising vocal instruments in music at present.

The sweet swing of Hayes’ distinctive fiddle style finds release in these arrangements. Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh’s playing adds an understated contemporary sensibility and Dennis Cahill’s rhythmic guitar playing drives this train with an urban pulse.

A great repertoire helps make this the coolest supergroup since the Million Dollar Quartet.



The National rhythm section jam it out with Ben Lanz from Beirut and evoke early an Cure ambience that’s more scaffolding than architecture.


Mothers — When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired (Wichita)

Singing as if traumatised, Kristine Leschper’s folkiness sounds disconcerting set against an inventive math-rock backing, but the results are dramatic and intriguing.


Gazebos — Die Alone (Hardly Art)

I’ll bet they throw colourful parties but this giddy melange of trash, punk-pop and fortune cookie existentialism is light as a froth.


Hollywood Vampires — Hollywood Vampires (Digital Deluxe Edition) (Universal)

Celebrity golfer Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry, lead a bunch of mates in a noisy knees-up that celebrates their “dead drunk friends”.


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