Saturday, 5 November 2016

Album: The Daily Howl - Unfamiliar Light

The Daily Howl Unfamiliar Light

Info: The Daily Howl are a five piece rock and roll band from Wicklow. Their debut album 'Unfamiliar Light' was released last month, and sadly marks the end of their three years together. Since winning the King King Club in 2013 they have been busy writing and gigging all over Dublin and Ireland. The album was recorded and produced with Gavin Glass at Orphan Recording (Inchicore) and Spud Murphy at Bay Studios (Wicklow).

It's over two years since I reviewed The Daily Howl's debut self-titled EP, a fine collection of roots and Americana based tracks. The interceding time has seen a fairly seismic shift in their sound, moving ever closer to a finely honed blues rock sound. I was pleasantly taken aback by the storming opening on 'Ben Hur', a Jon Bonham drum opening is followed by up tempo guitar and call to action vocals, where did this come from?! 

The slightly softer 'Coming Up Roses' has a hint of Bends-era Radiohead on one of that album's more quiet numbers, again guitars are sweet and the harmonies are unsurprisingly spot on. A real slick boogie then pops up in the form of 'Oh, Magpie', a very Weezer-inspired thick bass-line chugs along to a tight rhythm section, it's already hitting home on this one just how far the band's song-writing has come. On 'Show Me The Way' the band have a throwback of sorts to their early sound, with some nice keys providing the backdrop to a fine piece of balladering. 

We enter atmospheric territory on the mysterious 'HamletJabber', The Daily Howl exhibiting their strong ability to put a story at the core of their music, and like so many of the tracks on Unfamiliar Light, the build up to the crescendo is delivered with aplomb. The thrust is maintained on 'Peel Of The Bell', a swinging piece of country blues rock, everything is so tight here, vocal dueling, rhythm, percussion and some wonderful guitar solos. 

After the Clapton-esque 'Tavern Song', The Daily Howl fittingly sign-off where they began, with a no frills slice of Americana in the form of the beauty that is 'I Will Let You Down', you can clearly hear a collective of musicians who know each other so well musically as they effortlessly play off each other but as one. It's always sad to see a very talented band call it a day, but it's a little bit worse when their final record is their best, that said, we wish them all the best for the future in their individual endeavours. Thanks TDH.

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