Album Reviews
Band: Adam's Curse

Title: What The Ancients Knew About Us

Label: Bad Reputation

It can't be easy when the band you're in decides to call it a day, especially one as good as Glyder were, but hats off to the guitarist/songwriter of said band Barry 'Bat' Kinane for not sitting twiddling his thumbs for too long, instead forming a new band called Adam's Curse along with drummer Brendan Gilligan and bassist John Treacy, and even though we're in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, the trio have managed to get their debut album done and dusted during lockdown.  Kicking proceedings off is 'A Vibe For Philo', their homage to the late, great Phil Lynott and the tribute gig that is held yearly, so you'd think the song would present itself with touches of Lizzy, and of course it does with plenty of fancy guitar work at the helm on this mid pacer, then it's the turn of the bass to shine as it wanders along like a merry minstrel during 'Stargazer', a redone version of the 'old' Glyder song that features on their debut album and I have to say it has more 'oomph' about it than this 'poppier' one.

 

'Tattoos And Loneliness' tells the story of a girl who replays her past with each tat she has.  It's slow bluesy rock vibe and clever lyrics from Bat actually reminds me of Manic Street Preachers when they were the best band in the country around the mid 90's, and those clever lyrics spill into the though-provoking, riff-led groover 'Borrowed Time', setting us up for a tale on what is just going wrong on this planet of ours and why we need to protect it better ... 'nuff said, Bat, we get your drift.  'Poison Spring' continues on that subject, which, even though it's all Folky-sounding and gentle on the ears, hammers the message home, but maybes it's a bit too much for me at times, so thankfully 'My Canoe', another Folksy, acoustic-led song comes along in it's 60's Hippy-ish 'doo-be-doo, doo-be-doo' manner and settles things down, delving into a story of someone growing up to raise a family the best they can. 

 

'Funeral Of My Soul' stops you in your tracks as it's a case of 'where have I heard something like this before?'. Answer ... it's very similar to 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love' by 80's band Tears For Fears during the verses!  It has that phased guitar pedal effect which gives it a psychedelic tone, but it generally the song slightly drones on when really it could do with a 'pick me up' part way through, like 'Satellite' does with a simple snappy drum pattern and jabbing riff that leads into a sharp solo ... what a difference!

 

What's this then ... AC/DC? Yep, 'What Lives Matter' really hits the 'Angus and Co.' button with some fine pounding Bluesy Rock to give the album a jolt for the better, Bat's vocal style up there with Jake Burns of SLF fame, a punky and 'yeah, so what!' attitude which the song also benefits from, and that solo ... welcome to 1978-9!!  The band really turn up the ante with 'Unmask Your Face', it's beefy guitar work and thumping skins as hard as a nut, the bass like a growling dog and the vocals spat out in utter contempt for whoever this rollicking song is about, then we're back to the Folk-tinged side of Adam's Curse on the title track, where I find the vocals ... erm ... not as strong as they could be, which is also the weak point on the piano-led ballad 'Starlight', and it's a shame as this poetic, almost medieval sounding song would come across just that bit better with a stronger voice.

 

'What The Ancients Knew About Us' is in no way a bad album, but from a personal perspective, no matter how good Bat's lyrics and guitar work is, and having a tight rhythm section as well, this album really needed a great singer who had just that bit more power in his voice to take it to another level.  Let's see how album no. 2 fares.

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1.  A Vibe For Philo
2.  Stargazer
3.  Tattooes And Loneliness
4.  Borrowed Time
5.  Poisn Spring
6.  My Canoe
7.  Funeral Of MY Soul
8.  Satellite
9.  What Lives Matter
10. Unmask Your Face  
11. What The Ancients Knew About Us 
12. Starlight

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