The north of Dublin itself, that is, when you go beyond the boundaries of Swords and Ballymun, is something of an overlooked gem that is rather rich in artistic talent. There are fine acts out there to be found who we are very familiar with such as Dem Fools, Liz Seaver, Crafty Fuzz and many others. One such band is The Starling Army. For those unfamiliar with the band they possess a very fluid sound that has elements of rock, blues and grunge to it.
Getting things going was ‘Pretty’. Here things step out off the back of a rather neat intro that is steady and direct. As such things pick up smartly and that adds up in the tempo as it all comes together. This gives the vocals a more prominent platform upon which to build everything. That is the key word here- prominence. There is something to the way things linger before the bridge comes to pass that adds a noted sense of relativity as it all comes full circle. Drawing on a harder lull in the sound is ‘Dog Happy’. This is taken stock of from the intro with an immediate presentation that builds the delivery. By keeping to that approach they corner the intent and work it well. The grunge influences show in the undertone, but the catchy way they are brought to bear reflects a solid sense of musicianship at work.
Another steady affair followed with ‘Everyone Else’. There is an amicable drift in the sound here that meets well with the rock calling on show. It reflects a telling sense of consideration on the band’s behalf as it all works and you appreciate it all the more for the value added to the performance. Then comes ‘Out Of Line’. The intro is one that has a very catchy hook. This is solid and the consistency retained in keeping the openness intact lines up. The upstanding token feel that comes to pass meets with approval. But there is also a lush hardness that is shouldered in a conclusive way that adds to what is displayed. Within the sedate outline of ‘Strange Days’ the outline of the song is formed and the drumming is also picked up on because of this. It is quite descriptive. The allure holds a slight 60’s revisionist vibe that gives it a rich calling. It is somewhat anthemic and the vocals unify all of the playing elements in a way that resounds fully with the depth of the lyrics.
Their next song is one that is incredibly robust and hits the ground running. That upbeat showing is what gives ‘Divine Intervention’ vibrancy. This is what locks down the playing. It is somewhat conventional but it also retains a noted sense of sharpness in how it boxes clever. It is followed up by another solid tune in the shape of ‘Stuck In A Cage’. The tracking here results in the lean weight getting behind it all in a serious way. It is quite catchy but here the alternative calling embraced in the later progression really defines it. Retaining consistency in the running is ‘Money Spider’ and it is extensively progressed it must be said. Here there are pinches in the playing which light it all up and bring to the fore a lot that deserves to be appreciated. What confirms that furthermore is the quickening pace that is brimming with class. Their final track was the rather prolific ‘The Starling Army’. This has moxie in spades and is a serious straight shooter. Things are processed in the affirmative which hits everything right- especially as it comes into the chorus. The drive and grace marry to give it an anthemic calling which shows that it is a tune that was born to be played live.
Up next from the band is a gig at Raff’s On The Corner in Skerries on May 29th supporting Hothouse Flowers.
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