SEA PINKS' last album, Soft Days, was solid, but lacked a true stand-out song. Watercourse has no such trouble though, as this new album from the Belfast trio boasts several great moments.
The difference? Band leader/songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Neil Brogan has fully realised his vision of "We’re a singles band hellbent on making albums," on Watercourse, creating 10 concise, sharp, tracks - the whole thing clocks in at 33 minutes - which have a unified, cohesive tone, yet within that, allow enough individuality to give its best songs their own identity - and there are gems aplenty on this delightful record.
Brogan's music is sweetly melancholic and melodic - drawing on the jangle-rock of 1980s indie, best experienced in the achingly lovely 'I Don'y Know What I Would Do (Without You )'; but the 17 Seconds era Cure atmospherics of 'Into Nowhere' is a different turn; while 'Gonealong' and 'Watercourse' show Brogan's gift for creating inspired choruses - Felt would have been proud of the former, while the latter with its dynamics and the interaction of rolling drums and lead guitar lines, may be the best thing he has yet written.
Sea Pinks play Strange Brew at the Róisín Dubh tonight [Thursday May 25] at 9pm. Admission is free.