13 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bell X1 have been one of Ireland’s most successful bands, yet have remained an obscure secret in the U.S. Flock was released in Ireland in 2005 and has since gone five-times platinum there, while the U.S. release was finally cleared in 2008. (Additional trivia: They are named for the first plane to break the sound barrier.) Their diverse approach makes them a difficult band to immediately nail down. “Rocky Took a Lover” is an affecting piece of honest reportage with a dour hangover groove. “My First Born for a Song” is a lulling, ambient piece with pulsing keyboards and a serene spiritual vibe. “Flame” is an antsy piece of radio pop. Skewered guitars and a metronomic beat drive “Bigger Than Me.” Claims of Radiohead-lite or Coldplay-heavy aren’t insults, but rather a roundabout way of saying the group battles between an expansive experimentalism and a desire to mope around to pretty pop melodies. “Bad Skin Day” and “Natalie” shade towards the ‘90s melancholic guitar pop of Luna with grander expectations, while “Reacharound” uses disruptive rhythm shifts and siren-like keyboards to put the audience on full alert.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bell X1 have been one of Ireland’s most successful bands, yet have remained an obscure secret in the U.S. Flock was released in Ireland in 2005 and has since gone five-times platinum there, while the U.S. release was finally cleared in 2008. (Additional trivia: They are named for the first plane to break the sound barrier.) Their diverse approach makes them a difficult band to immediately nail down. “Rocky Took a Lover” is an affecting piece of honest reportage with a dour hangover groove. “My First Born for a Song” is a lulling, ambient piece with pulsing keyboards and a serene spiritual vibe. “Flame” is an antsy piece of radio pop. Skewered guitars and a metronomic beat drive “Bigger Than Me.” Claims of Radiohead-lite or Coldplay-heavy aren’t insults, but rather a roundabout way of saying the group battles between an expansive experimentalism and a desire to mope around to pretty pop melodies. “Bad Skin Day” and “Natalie” shade towards the ‘90s melancholic guitar pop of Luna with grander expectations, while “Reacharound” uses disruptive rhythm shifts and siren-like keyboards to put the audience on full alert.

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