Storyfold don’t waste anytime hooking you into their debut album ‘Rocket Science’. ‘Ciara, Don’t Be Angry’ starts proceedings with a catchy driving bassline before Paddy McKenna’s vocals kick in. By the chorus, the band have introduced the listener to all the trademarks of their sound, solid drumming and bass, and clever guitar lines. What sets them apart though is their use of keys and Lindsey Hogan’s harmonies.
Track two on the album though, has Lindsey on lead vocals and the exchange of lead vocals on ‘The Sweetest Silence’ works really well, reminding this listener of the vocal exchange between Simon Carmody & Maria McKee on The Golden Horde’s ‘Friends in Time’.
The album was produced by Greg Havers (Manics, Lost Prophets) and the band’s songs are complimented by his lush production, building up tracks beautifully and including what can only be described as gorgeous string arrangements. The Dublin based quintet have been together for just over a year and seem to have been recording and demoing since their inception. They write memorable songs and cross genres which makes them extremely marketable. They are indie rock but these productions make their sound huge and fit for bigger stages.
For tracks 4/5/6, Storyfold throw a triple jab. Singles, ‘Delphine Wakes’, ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and ‘Trick of Light’ in a row, make you sit up and pay attention. ‘Delphine Wakes’ shows the band in fine lyrical form and shows their knack of storytelling songwriting as they talk about the durty stopout, Delphine. ‘Behind Closed Doors’ sounds bigger than its previous single release. Haver’s string arrangements have turned this into a dramatic piece which deserves recognition. McKenna and Hogan’s vocals beautifully intertwine.
Not to get too serious though, Storyfold follow this with the playful uptempo ‘Trick of Light’. The placement of the tracks here, lets the album rise and fall, before grabbing your attention with the short, snappy, in your face, track.
An instrumental interlude, ‘Here’, seems to act as the beginning of a new chapter or a Side A and Side B. While previous generations had The Wolfe Tones’ singing songs of emigration and being away from loved ones, ‘You’re Still There’, is the song for this one. Actually, if you listen to the words too much it’s heartbreaking.
From here, this would be what I would consider the hardest part of an album, the singles are already in there and it’s easy for a listener to lag. ‘Set The Record Straight’ starts with a ‘La La La’ intro and a massive drum tom rhythm and sound while ‘Hasbeen’ starts with a downbeat tempo, just vocals and piano. Throughout the album the band have shown great songwriting skill with some great chord progressions and occasional discord to reflect the lyrics. With a refrain of ‘You’re so happy now without me‘, this could easily be on a soundtrack on tv or film.
Last tracks can sometimes get lost or forgotten. ‘Another Year’ deserves to be heard. This is an acoustic led track with great strings and great vocal delivery from McKenna. To these ears if you crossed Green Day with Del Amitri’s classic ‘Nothing Ever Happens’, you’d get ‘Another Year’.
It’s a long time since I was looking forward to an album as much as this one and being honest, I was hoping that Storyfold would be able to live up to the expectations I had, they have. Clever hooks, great delivery and musicianship and production, Storyfold have made ‘Rocket Science’ seem easy. Buy it.