Saturday, 21 September 2013

Now to one of my favourite albums so far this year and one that may not have happened - The self titled second album from the Civil Wars

After the duo imploded last year you couldn't see this coming but apparently the one issue they didn't have was musical differences.

Consider this to be the modern Rumours album where disintegrating personal relationships between the musicians lead to something special.

The music leans more to muscular Barton Hollow from the debut album rather than the delicate acoustic songs. The opening One That Got Away is a storming tune full of loaded lyrics such as "oh, I wish I'd never seen your face". When they do return to the acoustic roots then Oh Henry is the standout with it's catchy chorus and insistent strumming

There seems to be more of a band feel with drums, slide and other instruments added to other tracks and it's so easy to read meaning into the lyrics (whether really there or not)

To mix things up there's a cover of the Smashing Pumpkins track Disarm and a song Sacred Heart sung totally in French

This is a fantastic album where the tension between the writers really does add the extra sense of exhilaration but that same friction may mean this is the final recording. If that is the case what a way to end it.....
So NFD are back with a new mini 7 track album called Reformations but did anyone actually notice they had left? (it's been 5 years...)

As a band there is one huge white elephant in the room..... Whisper it but the singer sound very, very  like Carl Mcoy of the Nephilim. Once you realise other member of the band also spent time in various guises of the Fields this does look like a sort of odd tribute act

To be fair the music has a more straight forward 'rock' feel, there is no weird majikal lyrical mutterings and the songs all come in under 5 minutes.

The music is goth with a capital G and is more effective when the pace slows such as on The Unknown. The album finishes with a Pink Floyd cover from the Gilmour era. One Slip is an unusual choice for any band but is most odd in this case though not without merit.

So there we are  - a solid album to fill the void for goths while the Fields of the Nephilim continue to hibernate