- 24 Nov 20
Cork act come out fighting.
Cork-based genre straddlers We March have rightly been lauded for their incendiary live shows. Could they capture that power in a recording context? As far too many Irish bands know, that isn’t always a straightforward process.
There is nothing predictable about We March’s much anticipated debut album. It is a kind of multi-cultural melting pot, combining Debora Calzaccia’s fine Italian vocals, Mo Siala’s often Arabic-tinged violin, Gael Robillard’s French cello, and Cathal Dennehy’s percussion with John Paul Fitzgerald’s piano and songwriting skills.
There’s a strong European influence in the music, which takes on a North African flavour at times.
Overall, Fight Or Flight is an intense and passionate journey that followers of the likes of Gogol Bordello, the Dresden Dolls and our own Sons Of Burlap – and going back a little bit further, Dublin outfit The Atrix – should be encouraged to hear. The result is impressively difficult to pigeon-hole.
To describe the music as a bewitching blend of goth, cabaret, Arabic folk and Norwegian death-punk gives a sense of the sonic and melodic terrain we’re in. Thematically, there is an element of the Darwinian struggle between aggression and retreat, with songwriter John Pul Fitzgerald unafraid of taking on the big themes – mental health, personal isolation and mortality among them. And there is no evidence of a desire to sugar the pill.
Fight Or Flight is very deliberately a tale of two halves. The first part boasts rabble rousing rallying-cries like the excellent, eponymous ‘We March’, in which the ghost of Talking Heads can surely be discerned. The second is loaded with downbeat ballads. The single ‘Bones’ – not the Radiohead song – is a fine, piano-based, theatrical piece written in the wake of the terminal illness of a loved one; and ‘Help Me Find My Way Back’ is simple but effective.
The title track has excellent violin work and the aura of Kate Bush is discernible. Meanwhile, the waltzing, gleefully O.T.T. ‘Wake’ is a highlight – if the cast of What We Do In The Shadows ever entered the Eurovision, then this is the song they should pick. Overall, this a genuine work of art. Give it the time: you will be rewarded.
Out now, listen below.