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New Dawn Breaking

Five years after their Hi-Lo debut, the former Stunning Brothers return to the fray with their strongest calling card to date. Recorded largely in the famed Black Box studios in France with the ubiquitous Dave Odlum at the helm, New Dawn Breaking is an immediately impressive record on almost every level (and very nicely packaged it is too in gatefold digipak!)

Rating: 7 / 10

Colm O'Hare, 23 May 2005



Five years after their Hi-Lo debut, the former Stunning Brothers return to the fray with their strongest calling card to date. Recorded largely in the famed Black Box studios in France with the ubiquitous Dave Odlum at the helm, New Dawn Breaking is an immediately impressive record on almost every level (and very nicely packaged it is too in gatefold digipak!)

Some of the material will already be familiar – ‘To The Bright and Shining Sun’, their biggest hit to date and well-known bank advert boasts that irresistibly catchy guitar intro and backing vocals from Turn’s Ollie Cole and ex-Crowded House bassist Nick Seymour. The quirky, hard-edged, ‘Drowning Pool’ was released on an EP late last year, while the current single, the anthemic ‘Passing Through’ has been widely aired over the past few weeks.

Not being blessed with the kind of enigmatic frontman or guitar hero that lets other outfits get away with murder The Walls depend more than most on strong songs with memorable hooks and melodies. While some of their past output could be said to be workmanlike and competent rather than truly inspired, thankfully there are enough songs with the latter attributes on offer here

And despite their penchant for an all-out rock assault, as on the riff-heavy ‘Highwire’, which recalls the Stunning years it’s on the slowburners where they really shine. ‘Know Your Love’ has a gorgeous keening melody filled out in the refrain with lovely accordion and brass textures. The dreamily psychedelic jangle of ‘Out Of The Fog’ showcases yet another side of the band while both ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Birthday Girl’ all benefit from the mellower, low key approach.

Finally, the folksy-rock tune, ‘Romantic Ireland’s Dead and Gone’ is quite possibly the first song ever to chronicle this country’s property boom, with the auctioneers, whose “greasy fingers ply their trade,” bearing the brunt of The Walls ire.

Worth waiting for!


Rating: 7 / 10

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