Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bell X1 - "Blue Lights On The Runway"

Bell X1 return to the States with their follow-up to “Flock”, “Blue Lights On The Runway”, released March 3rd on Yep Roc Records. The Irish rockers take a cue from Radiohead and Coldplay’s recent forays into more experimental sounds with their new album. Everything is bigger this time around; the beats, the catchy vocal melodies, the length of songs, and the electronics, all without turning into a mixed-matched mess of ideas.

“The Ribs Of A Broken Umbrella” kicks the album off with a big beat and chiming keyboards with a “la, la, la, la, la, la” sing along that will be stuck in your head like gum to a shoe. “How Your Heart Is Wired” sounds like an unearthed Radiohead B-side from “In Rainbows” (in a good way), complete with yearning vocals, finger picked guitars and an almost glitchy electronic beat. The first single, “The Great Defector” with its tight beat and David Byrne-like vocal delivery, along with the female background vocals and rubbery bass line, undeniably sounds like classic Talking Heads without becoming a distraction. The same can be said about “A Better Band” which starts off with tinny guitars and cowbell, accenting a tom-heavy beat before fully morphing into a full out rock jam to end the song. Things become more light and introspective on “Light Catches Your Face”; a cinematic piano ballad that sounds made for TV, has actually been featured on an episode of One Tree Hill, and could net the band a wider audience here in the States. The jazzy Mardi Gras brass on “The Curtains Are Twitchin’” ends the album sounding like a party you wish didn’t have to end, leaving you wanting more.

With "Blue Lights On The Runway", Bell X1 has created a great and lasting record that should earn them the accolades and respect here in the U.S. that they have enjoyed in Ireland for years.

Download "How Your Heart Is Wired" here:

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