When your band is named after a soft core porn mag, you’re probably not going to mince your words. Reader’s Wives‘ sophomore album, ‘Rachel’s Apartment’, kicks off in style with an ode to comedian ‘Lenny Fucking Bruce’. Even with a driving rhythm section and clever guitar hooks, Niall Nolohan’s effected vocals are given enough room so this becomes a great album opener.
One of the things I’ve always like about Reader’s Wives are their lyrics, matter of fact, slightly quirky but straight up and honest. On ‘Rachel’s Apartment’ we see that Niall Holohan & Co. have grown into a musically adept indie band. The lead single ‘Light Up’, doesn’t waste much time and introduces you to the main hook within seconds, catchy radio friendly and polished.
Rachel’s Apartment is so called after the place it was recorded in Temple Bar. The urban surroundings seem to echo throughout the album’s production, clever little hooks, sounds, like the telephone engaged sound which heralds the countdown to ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’.
There are times when Reader’s Wives have a classic indie sound, somewhere between The Strokes and Artic Monkeys but then they turn it all upside down with ‘Isadora Duncan’ , which features Microdisney’s Cathal Coughlan. His spoke work contribution is accompanied by an understated echoing musical accompaniment. Cleverly the bass line is carried over to ‘God With A Brigand’.
Stand out tracks for these ears are ‘Wasted Youth’ and ‘Get Laid’ a dirty bass driven track in which guitars keep building up to the chorus.
This is a damn fine well produced album, which grabs you with its hooks and lyrics and reels you in. Put it on your list of Irish albums to get this year.