Words Mark Ireland.
The album Solas by The Answer is the pinnacle of a tumultuous time for the band. They’d just finished a huge tour of the US and the lead singer Cormac Neeson was in a creative slump, he’d been pushed to the limit, so much so he didn’t think he was able to produce another album.
As well as the creative problems, his wife had just given birth to a boy who had been born prematurely, so this album is a deeply personal journey not only for the band but the audience as well.
The opening track and title song ‘Solas’ has an incredible build, you can imagine the band playing on top of a mountain with no one else around, the swirling echo’s of guitar entwine the listener into a serpentine state. Then it drops like a parachute jumper with no chute pure velocity, it is a fantastic opening track.
The following track ‘Battle Cry’ repeals the sonic attitude a bit, it starts of as a ballad, and then it gets into a rollicking almost folk rhythm, with it’s anthemic chorus. I can just imagine it being a stadium favourite.
‘Untrue Colour’ changes direction again, and is more of a straight ahead rocker, with a lot more of a commercial appeal.
‘In This Land’ is another ballad but without the diversified sound that ‘Battle Cry’ had. The Answer know their audience very well and this commercial sound would fit in with that demographic, for me personally it really isn’t anything I haven’t heard before.
‘Being Begotten’ starts off with a great bluesy riff that entrances the listener, but unfortunately it goes nowhere, and has an anti climatic ending.
The album started off on such a great rocking opener, but sadly fizzles out. For me there wasn’t enough memorable riffs or anything else that would make me return for a second listen.
I’m quite sure there is a huge fan base for this band considering their longevity, but I personally think there a lot more bands out there that are doing the same thing but with a bit more attitude and more colourful sonic palette.
The Answer’s Solas, is OUT NOW through Napalm Records HERE.