- 06 Jun 17
Excellent effort from veteran Irish rockers.
To the uninitiated, The Cute Hoors were one of the more interesting of the crop of Irish rock groups that sprang up in the late ’80s, hoping to emulate the success of U2. Not that they were pale imitators of Bono and co. Always slightly shambolic and knowingly uncool, the Hoors enjoyed some modest success (tours of the UK and Europe, chart placings, MTV appearances, etc.) before disbanding in 1992.
A quarter of a century on, the original line-up of vocalist Doctor (Sean) Millar, bassist Mark Megannety, guitarist Phil Martin and drummer Mark Hugget has re-formed. Sounding slightly less frenetic than in days of yore, and a whole lot more world weary, the rootsy Hair Like Blood is a relatively straightforward rock ‘n’ roll affair, with a hint of country.
They’re all talented players and the album grooves along nicely. What’s really great about it, however, is the lyrics. The supremely gifted Doctor Millar has long been acknowledged as one of Ireland’s greatest songwriters (‘Alcohol Problem’ remains an all-time favourite of mine). As titles such as ‘Broken Hearts And Dishwashers’ and ‘You’re Ruining Everything’ suggest, he’s sounding as jaundiced and melancholic as ever here.
Millar knows that a song really can’t change the world. On ‘Happy Out’, he croons, “This song’s unfair/This song’s untrue/This song does not want what’s best for you/It’s just no good/This song’s not right/This song won’t help you through the night.”
World domination is unlikely at this stage, but that’s probably not the plan. These Hoors are far too cute for that. Hair Like Blood is one those subtly spiteful albums that just gets better and better with every listen.