John Blek and the Rats: Borders | Album Review

Fri, Sep 18, 2015, 00:00



John Blek and the Rats



The title may be misleadingly topical as may be the somewhat disconcerting preoccupation with morbidity, but that should not deter investigation of this impressive second album by the six-piece Cork band.

While their debut made good currency out of leanings, these nine tracks are more cohesive and mature, with echoes of The Jayhawks.

The title is taken from the opening ballad Guard My Borders, which is redolent of that excellent British band The Leisure Society, but these borders are more personal than political.

John Blek’s voice carries a tinge of sadness with storyteller insight and Robbie Barron’s guitar a snarl of menace. The sound is filled out with David Murphy’s pedal steel and Anna Mitchell’s atmospheric keyboards (her 2015 solo album was equally noteworthy).

A band on the up.