‘Skinty fia’ is an Irish term meaning ‘the damnation of the deer’. Fittingly, this is an album in diaspora, looking back at Ireland with sturdy solemnity. Now living in London, the Dublin four-piece extol the strength of their homeland through a greatly expanded sound, while Chatten’s accented vocals assertively seek to anchor the band to a proud and severe tone. Despite his efforts, the instruments often sail across towards the wider dimensions of Manchester britpop. It’s a strange dichotomy that takes some familiarising, but Chatten’s more combative side certainly suits the overall ambition. This is a very good album, periodically curbed by sharp turns and occasional miscommunications.
A favourite: ‘Roman Holiday’
‘Skinty Fia’ is out now via Partisan Records.