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17 Reviews
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edgy and just a little dark
I've come to understand that you can not judge a new Saw Doctors album on the 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd listen. You need to allow some time for all the different styles and sounds to become familiar and release their charms. "Villains?" is no exception. The title track, which opens the album, at first listen is a strange, discordant dirge with voicebox vocals and...
Published on 17 Oct 2001

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A LONG WAIT REWARDED
THE SAWDOCTORS FIFTH OFFICIAL ALBUM, ENTERS THE FRAY AFTER MUCH EXPOSURE ON THE LIVE CIRCUIT, THE SAWDOCTORS ARE UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF THE BEST LIVE ACTS AROUND, ON RECORD THOUGH IT NEVER SEEMS TO CAPTURE THE SAME MAGIC (A CRITICISM OFTEN LEVELLED AT THE BEST) THE ALBUM KICKS OFF WITH THE TITLE TRACK, A DRUGS RELATED TALE PROBABLY THE MOST SOBER TALE SINSE 'EVERYDAY' IN 1996...
Published on 3 Oct 2001


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edgy and just a little dark, 17 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
I've come to understand that you can not judge a new Saw Doctors album on the 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd listen. You need to allow some time for all the different styles and sounds to become familiar and release their charms. "Villains?" is no exception. The title track, which opens the album, at first listen is a strange, discordant dirge with voicebox vocals and a slurred, overpowering bass line. What's this? Where are the happy, joyful Saw Doctors? This is followed by the bouncy "This Is Me", the tender "Still Afraid of the Dark", the loping "Happy Days", the powerful "Bounds to the Peace"... I think you get the idea. "Villains?" doesn't let you settle into a comfort zone, as a listener. It's edgy and just a little dark. This is a new side to the Saw Doctors and, while it takes a little getting used to, in the end it is well worth the effort.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Century new Sound, 7 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
Dedicated to fellow Tuam sham Paul Cunniffe who died earlier this year in a tragic accident, this album sees the Saw Docs broaden their musical aspirations with brass and percussion on most songs taking them a long way from the N17 sound of guitars and drums.
The themes, however, remain the same - chancers masqurading as friends , (Villians), loneliness (Chips), pride in who you are (This is me), friendship (Happy Days),trust (Always Give Me More) .
Probably the only theme not revisited is Gaelic Football which is surprising given Galway's appearance in the All Ireland final in 3 of the last 4 years.
As usual the gentle guitar sounds of Leo Moran counterpoint the gravelly tones of Davy Carton making this a sublime return to form for the West of Irelands most talented songwriters and performers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than worth the wait!, 3 Oct 2001
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
It was a long time coming, and some of the songs are already familiar to those fans who travel the country in search of a "medical"!
The title track has a fantastic new treatment and a memorable guitar riff.
This is Me has been a favourite since I first heard it in concert some time ago - just got to dance to it!
Still Afraid of the Dark and I Know I've got your Love are both beautiful ballads that will give us all chance to catch our breath.
One slightly negative comment - not sure about the female backing vocals - but that's minor niggle.
It's an excellent album with a great mix of lovingly written songs - particularly Still the Only One, which is an absolutely stunning ending to the whole thing.
As for single material - the larged out production on Bound to the Peace makes it an obvious candidate for release, in my humble opinion.
The Bugle Merchants shine throughout this album and add a whole new dimension.
You should buy at least two copies as you are Bound to wear the first one out!
HAPPY DAYS!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Same Oul' Sound, 3 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
There's been a bit of a wait for this album, but it's been well worth it! There's a sleeker sound to the Sawdoctors now, helped by the flurries of brass from their new recruits the Bugle Merchants, but it's not eclipsed the style fans have become accustomed to - tracks such as Bound to the Peace and Chips would be quite at home on any of their earlier albums.
The title track, Villains, has been impressing live for over a year now, and the album version of the track, though different, is still stirring stuff - and darker than one would expect from Tuam's finest. Other tracks, particularly This is Me, which Davy Carton belts out with customary enthusiasm, and the extremely catchy DNA, make the album a must-have for anyone who likes simple, uplifting music.
Add to this mix a few quiet, thoughtful tunes such as Still the Only One and there you have it.
The whole album comes across as a polished variety bag, and should be sitting on the shelves of any self-respecting folk-rocker as soon as as humanly possible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Irish Band in the World, 1 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
Villains? is the latest chapter in an extraordinary tale of an enormously talented band. Out of a small town in Galway, Ireland, comes one of the most talented songwriting duos since Lennon and McCartney - Leo Moran and Davey Carton of The Saw Doctors are really that good. A quick listen to the title track alone should be enough to convince you that here is a very special band indeed. It seems a particularly apt piece of writing for the age in which we live.
From their early hits in the nineties, the Saw Doctors have demonstrated an impressive independence, a willingness to tell their own story without giving ground to the pressure to conform to the standards or expectations of others. They don't need to sing of Bloody Sunday and wave white flags in open air shows. The universality of the human experience, as in "Chips", for instance, transcends the need to follow a formula. First loves, waiting outside school gates for a glimpse of that special face, the sun drifting through curtains during late evening discos, the loneliness of the urban emigrant, the chronicle of change which pays homage to tradition ... all are vintage Saw Doctors themes. As in the track "This is Me", what you get from The Saw Doctors is honest, raw, but ultimately entertaining. See them live for an awesome experience. Listen to the haunting relevance of Villains? for the sound of what is surely Ireland's most outstanding export since The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem or The Boomtown Rats. Buy this, buy all their albums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new departure, 3 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
This album takes a couple of listens, but it's well worth the effort. There is much more production than on previous Saw Doctors outings and there is also the addition of a brass section but that raw edge is still there on tracks such as DNA, Bound to the Peace and This Is Me. My favourite track is Happy Days which has one of the catchiest choruses of all time while the trumpet and sax are a wonderful addition: understated and lilting.
There are no obvious singles, although the title track Villains? may well be the one that has the most chance of success. The Saw Doctors are still one of those rare acts who are better live than on CD, but buy this album anyway - you will not be disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The more you play it the better it gets, 3 Oct 2001
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
This is the latest release by the Saw Doctors and in my opinion it is a cd that is going to grow on you.The opening track Villains? has been described by some as something that Bob Dylan might have penned and I can agree with that.All though there are only eleven tracks,each one has something to offer.My personal favourite is a difficult choice between the title track and the last track Still the Only One,with the other nine coming a close second.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A break from tradition, but an inspired one, 2 Oct 2001
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
As a faithful Saw Doctor's 'follower' for a decade, expectations were high on this album. It hasn't failed to live up to expectations. Like a new flavour of crisps, it needed a second 'tasting' to realise how good the album was, as it branched away from traditional Saw Doctors' roots/rock stuff. This is ambition that's paid dividends as far as I'm concerned - easy to listen to and yet still makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck if you're a regular Saw Doctors 'groupie'. Ireland's best export, even ahead of Guinness I say. Buy it!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the wait!, 3 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
Although it seems that we've had to wait forever for the latest sawdoctors album, the wait was certainly worthwhile.
With styles ranging from guitar grinding grunge on the title track, to soulful ballads this album truly shows the range of the bands not inconsiderable talents.
villians is an album which in the end is a well written, well played feelgood album, something that right now I think everyone needs to hear.
Buy it and start the party!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Early Saw Doctors, 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Villains? (Audio CD)
A reasonably early Saw Doctors collection, but well worth the purchase. Like all Saw Doctors offerings it conveys the enthusiasm and enjoyment which they put into their music.
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Villains?
Villains? by Saw Doctors (Audio CD - 2001)
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