August Wells - Madness is the Mercy album review: wild, wired and welcoming

Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 14:22


Madness is the Mercy


FIFA Records


There is a hefty weight of experience coursing through these songs: Dublin vocalist and primary songwriter Ken Griffin was once in Irish bands Rollerskate Skinny and Favourite Sons (the former, a 1990s band, was unlucky not to get beyond cult fandom); John Rauchenberger, meanwhile, is a New York pianist with soundtrack proficiency and previous history as a Favourite Sons’ associate.

Griffin and Rauchenberger blend their mutual interests/tastes, and while the former writes lugubrious and humorous lyrics, the remarkable musical template is the intersection of Scott Walker (before he tired of melody) with Astral Weeks, and a hint of Nick Cave thrown in for even more baritone-friendly gravitas.

Coated in strings and fringed with wind/brass, something wild, wired and welcoming this way comes.