on 1 March 2011
It's so easy to get "carried away" when talking (or writing) about your "new favourite band", but in the case of Doyle & The Fourfathers and this, their debut album, I truly believe that all the superlatives are entirely justified.
This album is an absolute feast of quality songwriting and musicianship from beginning to end, with the listener led on a whirlwind 40 minute journey from one gloriously melodic alternative pop tune to another with barely a pause with breath.
Opener and lead single `When Will The Children Learn' is followed by the storming `Dark Times (Luminous People)' - recently performed live to rapturous reviews on Marc Riley's BBC 6 Music show - before the tempo slows to the shimmering and achingly lovely `Summer Rain'. `Give Up On Love' is surely a candidate for a future single - forget the current charts, this is the very essence of timeless classic pop. Side one closes with the beautiful and poignant `I Spend A Lot Of Time Alone'. Rarely have isolation and loneliness sounded more attractive.
The rollicking `Lion's Share' opens Side Two, followed by the more introspective `These Are Your Days' - complete with glorious strings. The fascinating `Obsolete Vernacular' is fast becoming a live favourite with its rousing singalong finale - and it works just as perfectly on record. Momentum and quality is maintained with `Shape And Form' (featuring superb guitar work from Ben Clark), before the album closes with the beautiful `Maker Of The Man' - bound to leave mothers everywhere somewhat moist-eyed.
William Doyle's lyrics display a sensitivity and maturity throughout. It's an album to listen to throughout; there's never a sense of loss as one classic track ends because you know that there's more where that came from and the next song really is just as good.
This young band wear, absorb and expand upon their influences (notable amongst these being Scott Walker, The Divine Comedy, Jarvis Cocker and Ray Davies) with absolute panache and have created their own distict brand of serious, yet utterly joyous, English pop.
on 28 February 2011
Doyle and the Fourfathers are a great live band and "Man Made" is a great Album. Buy it; you won't be disappointed. Look out for "Dark Times, Luminous People" (of Marc Riley session fame) and the atmospheric "Shape and Form". The single "When Will the Children Learn?" has a fantastic video.
DT4F certainly are a band to watch. More to come from them, I hope.