In Ireland, a country churning out hit makers like so much Guinness, Bell X1 are at the forefront of the frenzy. Called 'The best band in Ireland' by Vanity Fair magazine, the quintet of rockers has seen four songs simultaneously chart in the Irish Top 20 and the album, Flock, has since gone 5-times platinum. The band is now bringing their sound stateside with the US release of Flock on Yep Roc Records. Bell X1 was formed when original band Juniper split upon the exit of Damien Rice for a soon to be successful solo career. The remaining members continued on, creative juices still bubbling, to release their first album to rave reviews in the UK press. Two albums later came their blockbuster album, Flock, which is today one of the highest selling Irish albums ever. The live DVD Tour de Flock debuted at #4 on the Irish charts, the highest ever Irish debut for a self released title. With hooks galore amid a tapestry of moody, introspective nuances, Bell X1 is now poised to ride the wave of their UK success toward an entirely new group of fans and critics, on this side of the Atlantic.
Adding extra value to your purchase, the Yep Roc version of Flock is an enhanced CD, featuring three live videos, an animated music video, a photo slideshow, a bio page, a links page, and two special audio tracks, including an amazing remix of 'Flame'.
The album's cover art (and title) would seem to make a comparison between the group's modern rock sound and wallpaper. Which is meta, and fun and stuff--but at first it seems a little bit too
true. Is the racy leadoff track "Reacharound" much more than Radiohead lite? And how is the second track, "Flame," anything other than the work of a Maroon 5 tribute band that decided to write its own material? Stick around for the third song, though, "Rocky Took a Lover," and you'll be greatly rewarded. The song itself is a pleasant, gloopy little sunshine pop number. But what makes it something you want to hear more of are its sly, believably slice-of-life lyrics: "She said 'What a wonderful way to wake me/ You weren't so nice last night/ You're such an a**hole when you're drunk'/ He said 'At least I'm OK in the mornings'" For a group with one of the most unmemorable band names ever, it's funny that it's their way with words that elevates them from wannabe status. Let's hope they can craft some music as memorable as their words, toot sweet. --Mike McGonigal