- 23 Nov 20
Guitar rock from the subtle to the sublime.
Trading in an uplifting melange of guitar influences, from Gallagher, Page and Blackmore to blues, classical and flamenco, Irish rocksmith Ronan Furlong has become a serious presence on the interweb music scene.
Equally adept with acoustic and electric axes, he can now be heard on over 4,000 American radio stations while streaming elsewhere across the globe, so it’s time his homeland caught on. With The King Of Leaves he not only reinforces his prowess as a guitarist and songwriter, but his vocals have shifted up a flight or two, and his ultra-literate lyrics complete an intriguing puzzle.
‘Your Joy’ is an upful work of celebration, amid much exuberance in the riffing department, but cools off to a wistful conclusion, before the dramatic title track enters as a throw-back to mid-era Zeppelin, as Furlong’s deft fingering works its intoxicating magic. Roman philosophers don’t feature overly much in the rock annals, but Furlong excels at exploring ancient themes as he does again in ‘Seneca Said’, a beguiling melody carrying a song about toil and strife. ‘The Waves’ offers a more subdued angle, aching vocals weaving around mesmerising guitar lines, while ‘Silencing The Beast’ shows how Furlong can use terrific guitar interplay to build tension as easily as he releases it. The enterprise ends with the energetic rockin’ rampage of ‘Fever Dreams’, although you might wait for the neighbours to be out before letting it off the lead.
Furlong’s work is far more than the sum of its parts, his consummate mastery mixing intricate subtleties and great slabs of glorious noise. If carp I must, and I must, we could do with an extra voice or two to spice up the vocal mix. But most of all we should be thankful that in Furlong we have a multi-faceted creative spirit who explores the themes most songwriters rarely dare engage with.
The King of Leaves is out now via Thoroughbredmusic.
Listen to: 'Seneca Said'