- 17 Apr 23
No cutting corners for these boys
With the inestimable Gavin Glass in the producer’s chair, plus a shopful of musical instruments and all six members on vocal duties, Wexford’s Corner Boy have spiced their guitar-rock sound with Americana and Irish folk, creating a unique indie-trad style.
After a stunning opening comprising solemn harmonies, pipes and pounding drums, ‘Blackstairs Winter Snow’ accelerates, with Mick D’Arcy’s careworn vocals underpinned by throbbing bass. Conor Foran’s banjo kickstarts ‘Kingdom Come And Go’, a U2-style effort with soaring harmonies.
Cian McGovern’s harmonica helps ‘Ghost Town City’ out of the traps onto a country-rock base, with D’Arcy’s voice at its most joyous, and James O’Sullivan’s fiddle flurries stirring the pot. ‘Go Soft Into The Night’ has a plaintive quality evoking celebrated poet Dylan Thomas, with Michael Sutherland’s staccato drums adding real drama.
Admitting a little light, to contrast with the shade, might have made this a perfect debut. But Corner Boy still come on like a band hacking their way through the indie jungle, cutting down swathes of tamer opposition. As a lyricist and vocalist, D’Arcy deserves special attention, while the CB Collective could be the delinquent offspring of The Pogues and The Killers. Tremendous stuff.