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Stop The Lights
Third effort from former Stunning men most ambitious to date.
Roisin Dwyer, 20 Mar 2012
With 20-plus years at the coalface of Irish rock to their name, it comes as no surprise that the third offering from The Walls is a finely-wrought assortment of slick sonic treats.
The band may be established practitioners, but on Stop The Lights, they push the boundaries of their craft: this is their most adventurous work to date. Delicate string and brass infusions and experimental, ambient textures embroider the core instruments beautifully, bringing a multi-dimensional aspect to the new songs. The presence of Dubliner Rob Kirwan (of PJ Harvey renown) behind the mixing desk also gives proceedings an extra sheen.
The Walls appear to be dab hands at inter-genre shape-shifting: the eerie, dark cello and ominous drums of ‘The Great Escape’ brings to mind The National, ‘It Goes Without Saying’ is akin to futuristic Springsteen with its, “A one way ticket and a shot in the dark” refrain and spacey ethereal atmospherics – whereas poppy post-punk delights are the order of the day on ‘Dead Flowers’, including squelchy keys, pummeling drums and angular guitar.
Captivating autobiographical opener ‘Bird In A Cage’, with its luminous harmonies and euphoric chorus is one of many examples of Steve Wall’s compelling storytelling ability which also shines on ‘Carrying The Fire’, a chronicle of the travails of the Irish race.
Having showcased a diversity of styles, subject matter and tempos the plaintive piano of closing number ‘May The Road Rise’ is an apposite farewell to the preceding audio adventure. Delightful.