The Pale: Merciful Hour – Dublin band still have a few tricks up their sleeves

Wed, May 22, 2019, 05:00


Merciful Hour

The Pale

Self release


Never ones to truly stick to a genre, Dublin band The Pale are back with a hodgepodge of musical influences on their 13th studio album, and – true to form – they continue on in the same vein that they always have in that you never know what tricks they have up their sleeves.

Kicking off with the swing-infused Krakatoa, singer Matthew Devereux addresses the unease that comes when you feel unworthy of anyone’s affections. “Because living with me is like living in the shadow of a Krakatoa,” he sings, ready to implode at any moment.

The Pale - Loser Friends

Looking away from the smoke and up to the stars, Ursa Major is a contemplative guitar ballad that lists the loss of friends, love and pride, with Devereux pleading for some guidance.

Produced by Keith Farrell (Duckworth Lewis Method, Cathy Davey, Pugwash), there’s a running theme that life could be better if we learn from past mistakes rather than fall back into the same routine, as heard on the downbeat Loser Friends and the plucky Such Dumb Luck.

There’s a maudlin malaise to Merciful Hour, one that drags at times, but perhaps that’s the point.