The Sand Band - All Through the Night - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Sand Band - All Through the Night

by Dan Clay Rating:7.5 Release Date:2011-01-17

There must be something pretty unique about Liverpool's

to make Manchester's Noel Gallagher pick lead singer and songwriter David McDonnell for his new backing band. Despite the footballing differences, when it comes to music, the M62 is a happy road of union, especially if the results will be as mesmerising as this psychedelic foursome.

Comparisons to fellow Liverpudlians The Coral and melancholy maestro Elliot Smith are inevitable, even if All Through the Night's dark moments of love recall Sheffield's Richard Hawley in a glum but creative mood. Opener '

' speaks of a lonely love: "If anybody calls, I'm just gonna hide/All that I want it to be where you are," sings McDonnell over a quiet strum.

However, as the darkness lifts a little light seeps through with "Song That Sorrow Sings" and it's softer, gospel-tinged backing, while "The Secret Chord" waltz's along nicely. Similarly, "Someday the Sky" plucks acoustically in the ear while closing track "If This Is Where It Ends" leaves the listener on a positive note, awash with tinkling synths.

A slight shame then that the boys are stuck in reflective mood a little too often. "The Gift and The Curse" moves nowhere sadly like a second-rate Cast track, despite a nice bridge, while the title track's long instrumental could have benefited from a tighter arrangement within a song. Thankfully "Burn This House's" more epic, country-tinged feel moves wistfully from the first half's pacier feel towards "Hourglass'" slower ending, lifting the album as it moves to a close.

Promising certainly, if not to see exactly what direction the more talented Gallagher will take after Oasis degenerated into familiarity - and then Beady Eye.

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