- 09 Aug 19
A fine debut four decades in the making.
After much threatening, they finally did it. The O'Malleys from Limerick have released their debut album after 40 years as a popular live act. Mostly recorded in Limerick's Red Door Studios under the production ears of Dave Keary (also on electric guitar, lap steel, dobro and bouzouki) and multi-keyboardist James Hanley, it's a mix of originals by band members and a quartet of the faithful covers, including Sandy Denny's 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes' and Dylan's 'You're A Big Girl Now'.
Ger Costelloe's 'Who Are You, Who Am I' opens with gruffly endearing vocals on a soul-searching folk-rock offering that soon takes some tasty vocal harmonies on board. Peter Donnelly's 'I Will Follow' picks up a jaunty pace and Brian Mulcahy's 'Ghosts' features some fine picking. His aching title track has some evocative string playing by Alan Keary and lyric lines that echo the "see me, feel me, touch me" of Pete Townshend's 'We're Not Gonna Take It!'. James Hanley's piano leads into the reflective 'Man On Wire' and its atmospheric strings.
Generally, The O'Malleys play it a little safer than they need to, while Keary's instrumental composition 'The Resilient Sun' hints at what they could have done with a more adventurous approach. Still, they have 40 years to get it right next time. For now, it's great to have such a rewarding memento of the last 40.
OUT NOW 7/10