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Reader’s Wives – Rachel’s Apartment

Rachels’ Apartment is the latest release by the Irish Band – Reader’s Wives. Having undergone a reiteration, is is good to know Niall Holohan hasn’t gained an aversion to apostrophes.

Reader's Wives - Rachel's Apartment

Reader's Wives - Rachel's Apartment

Opening with Lenny Fucking Bruce – a track with elements of The Velvet Underground and the megaphone of Clara V from Vaqueros Paganos. Sharp guitar scythes against the vocal as the band take a sideswipe. Reader’s Wives once again challenge with the calm sartorial attitude that sums up the essence of the songwriting. It would be interesting to get an autobiography from Niall, it would make an intriguing read.

Wasted Youth takes me back to Crass and Christ the Album – I might even try and avoid any more analogies from here. Generous swathes of bass are interspersed with rolling guitar as the lyric demands an exploratory mind. The composition works extremely well as the band express a supressed rage which works on all levels- superb, this now sits on my elongated and personally resonant ‘songs to which I’d like to die’ compilation (I guess it will be a lingering death while I enjoy the music).

Track three Light Up, finds the band in a more generous mood. Yet still the sardonicism shines through, as the lyric sweeps the listener to an enlightened space, whilst the musical accompaniment challenges the whole construct. Once again we find Niall in a diatribe, three tracks in and the album is working well.

You Must Have Been Crazy, perhaps I have become too comfortable to my own ego, but I think this hits the heart of the soul of Niall,  as he takes us through an emotional roller-coaster of a track. An honest and open piece of material. The lyrics and composition, combined with stage persona may play the humour, but here we hit an accent, as we delve deeper in to Rachel’s Apartment.

I sometimes wonder if I play too much of the psychoanalysit when listening to music, but having been a song-writer and vocalist myself, I trust my ears and  instinct. I wrote from my heart and the more I hear and see, I more strongly believe my perspective. This album contains some wrenching excavation and perhaps on a par with the estrangement between Ian Curtis and Deborah, Curtis also had other medical issues. Is Holohan suicidal or just plain angry? I hope to be able to grab some time with him for an in-depth interview away from the stage and the lyrics. Is this a seminal release? Let’s wait for the follow up album. It does however explain the history of Reader’s Wives – anyway back to the album and off the couch.

Laughter/Commute, after 45 minutes listening and thinking over the the first four tracks let’s get busy – Reader’s get soulful as the tempo slows and the music flows over the lyric enabling the track to ease over the ears in a comforting wave, echoed guitars waft the listener gently to a relaxing mediterranean shore.

Isadora Duncan (Ft. Cathal Coughlan) Once again the lyrics of this composition challenge the listener. A spoken piece, which sits perfectly within the album. Duncan was a dancer born in the 19th Century, an open bisexual (‘I’m dancing on the landing if you fuck to it, it’s rock n’ roll… is this an allusion) , who challenged social mores of her era, including at the time a ‘shocking’ exposé of her breast and her communist ideals whilst on tour in the USA. She died of strangulation when her scarf wrapped around the wheel of her car, is that the carpet to which the track references? Cathal Coughlan is renowned for restructuring  compositions with reference to history, politics and the social underbelly.

God With A Brigand is a smart follow up to track 5 as we commence on the vocal which implodes with seried ranks of instrumentation, guitar drowns out the ear drum as the voice disappears.

For followers of Reader’s, we head back to familiar spaces with A sight for Sore Eyes, as the band reworks a lead riven perspective. This has been a well received rock driven track on live performance, which sits a little at odds with the album, but underlines the new direction for the band, which has moved away from the powerful emotional bass, to a resonance which sits a couple  of octaves higher, which perhaps gives Niall a stronger space in which to expose his vocal.

I am shifting along now and already up to track 9, Annabella a smartly produced piece of material. Sharp chalk stripes and hidden lives meet razored drum and muted bass, making a comfortable dance number.

Get Laid, leads us up to the final track. I am convinced this would work well live, with some real energy and demanding of crowd listening.

All of a sudden here is the finale and time to be escorted from Rachel’s Apartment- Serial Monogomay – takes an acoustic turn to the night and a fitting conclusion to a closing door.

If you want to find more about the band take a moment to check out the previous articles on Readers’ Wives. Once I have a link to the album release it will be posted, alternatively keep in touch via our newsletter to keep up to date with the best indie music from around the globe.

 

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