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The Post War Musical
THE MUSICAL GOES COOL
Jackie Hayden, 24 Jan 2011
Recorded in France with producer David Odlum, The Post War Musical from Dublin’s Pilotlight (ex- Polar) operates as a complete cohesive work at a level that flies in the face of arguments that the album is a dying concept and that music must henceforth be ingested only in byte-sized single morsels.
With its minute-long U2-ish epic opening, ‘Pulling On Doors That Say Push’ blossoms into a full-on exuberant slice of spiky guitar-driven pop rock with an intensity that barely lets up for its three and a half minutes. ‘Bite Your Nails’ flits between Muse-like sonic shades of light and heavy, tied together with fragments of airy melody, while ‘South’ is a melancholy love-lorn ballad that surges with percussive energy. ‘The Shortest Route To Happiness Is A Straight Line’ has a convincing tenderness rarely found in pop-rock, and ‘Health & Safety’ has a remarkably fragile lead vocal. Man’s immortality hangs over ‘Letting Balloons Go’, although its vocals, arrangement and guitars are shamelessly derived from U2 to a level that does the band few favours.
Incorporating the grit and gristle of Elbow, the frayed edges of Radiohead and the pop sensibilities of U2, The Post War Musical wears its influences on its sleeve. Which is fine: Pilotlight have crafted a debut that is positively breathtaking at times and steals from all the right people.