There is often the worry after you are impressed by a new band’s live performance that they may not be able to recreate this sound on a CD, and that maybe you’re just caught up in the moment.
Having previously enjoyed No Roller as a live act I hoped this wasn’t the case on their second release, Heading For A War. Thankfully the Dublin rockers have maintained the soulful yet somewhat rusty sound throughout the album.
The opening track, also titled Heading For War, is adequately named with the ‘calm before the storm’ style feeling it evokes. Slinky guitar riffs and melodic acoustic rhythm follow singer David Clarke’s grungey voice in introducing the band to the listener.
What follows is a euphoric gem and probably the album’s defining track Ocean. A haunting opening followed by the jagged backing guitar and simple but effective rhythm is purely beautiful. Clarke is at the peak of his Cobain-likness as he echoes the chorus.
Heading For A War does contain a mellow and acoustic influence but is best saved for indie/grunge lovers, with tracks such as Why You and Blood of the Sun providing the thrills. Both of which alter from rhythmic to chaotic in a matter of seconds.
The album is not without its flaws, with some tracks feeling like fillers and a mundane final track End Of The Road. However it doesn’t take away from the success that is Heading For A War.
These lads have clearly worked hard on ensuring this isn’t just another half-arsed attempt for a Dublin band to get a few pub gigs and flog some blank CD’s while they’re at it. The music is tight and pretty well produced and Clarke’s voice is perfectly suited to giving the band a unique, standout sound.
By Declan Marron.