Devastating Ways is the debut album from Dublin/Donegal band Kaplin and it's pretty decent. It contains three excellent tunes, lots of really nice violin and a mix of intriguing Mexican/Irish rock sounds.
I love reviewing albums that need a number of listens before I can attempt to come to some logical conclusion and 'Devastating Ways' is one of them. It's a varied album of beautifully written violin inspired ballads, Calexico sounding tracks and good old fashioned Irish 80s rock and roll. Of the eleven tracks there are a number of songs I have to skip on but it's not long until I get to a real nugget of a tune such as 'Easy Lover' and the title track.
The opening track is a fun piece of dark writing which acts as a theme to the album. 'Falling Down Your Stairs' provides inspiration for the album artwork and it's a decent track but there are better songs on the album.
One of the songs of the year is the gorgeous album closer 'The Road Rarely Runs out of Signs' which is an Americana track at it's very best.
The big let down for me are the few tracks which sound like bad covers of songs from The Stunning or Something Happens. It could be a production issue on the tracks like 'Rumble of Rosary' or 'Stolen Angels' but they don't work for me and when I take those tracks out of the album it's suddenly a great album. As it is ....
Kaplin - Devastating Ways [8 out of 12]