Six years in the making, Irish band The Walls have finally released their new album, Stop The Lights. Was it worth the wait? Sig Doherty seems to think so.

Every so often an album comes along that makes you fall in love with music all over again.

The third long play ‘Stop the Lights’ from Irish Indie legends The Walls is such an album. A highly anticipated release following on from the critical acclaimed 2001’s Hi-Lo, an album which included the outrageously great ‘Bone Deep’ and 2004’s ‘New Dawn Breaking’.

‘Stop The Lights’ is a musical tapestry of interwoven, layers and an abundance of magical textures. I stopped counting the amount of instruments that went into the making of this album, such was the array.

Album opener, the autobiographical ‘Bird In a Cage’ (stream above) set’s the bar high. A four minute masterpiece awash with melody, hooks and licks, telling the story of a couple of young countrymen , the Wall brothers, moving to the big city. How such a move, that you have no control over, with its emotional challenges, its sheer magnitude, changes and shapes a person.

In the emotional charged ‘Phantom Power’, Joe Wall tells us how he ‘stood there frozen on the shoreline, watching the world around me swim’, the heartache subsides with the call ‘not gonna give up, this is the start’.

The Great Escape’s message of roads less travelled with its heavy melancholic string arrangement stops you in your tracks. A perfect mix of synth loops interspersed with a ‘National-esque’ hypnotic drum groove.

Current single ‘It Goes Without Saying’ (stream above) has the melody and lick Sir Paul McCartney has been searching for for two decades. “you had it all not so long ago” sings Steve Wall. Indeed, the Walls previous incarnation, The Stunning, a hugely popular Irish indie rock band, stood on the cusp back in the 90’s. Heartache returns in the stripped down acoustic ‘All a Blur’, a reflective Wall tells of the love that got away. Reflection is the order of the day in contemplative ‘Thanks for the Photographs’. A life story of photographic stills beautifully brought to life in song. Bass- driven ‘Carrying The Fire’, the snyth and guitar hungry ‘Dead Flowers all bring their own unique slant to the mix.

Stop The Lights, seven years in the making, but worth the wait? Very much so. An ambitious record with countless layers and textures, so lovingly created (the art work is beautiful), that truly reaffirms the belief that great long plays are still being written and produced…sublime.

All words Sig Doherty.

The album can be listened to in full or bought from The Walls bandcamp page here.

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  1. It is indeed a great album. I bought a CD from the band’s website It arrived in London just three days later! It’s one of those albums that’ll always be beside the cd player. BTW…’Bird in a Cage’ is actually about a family moving out of the city to the country, not the other way round. Hence “Out of the Dark into the Light we go”!

  2. Great album – sloppy review…eh?

    When reviewing you have to listen before you write … the opening track … they moved to the country… not to the big city. As for the Sir Paul McCartney comment… did the reviewer miss the wry humour and point of that song altogether. 6 years in the making at the start of the review and by the end it was 7 years in the making …? Review the review before you hit the submit button Mr Doherty !

  3. Another great album from 2 of irelands finest singer song writers .
    Long time coming ,but well worth the wait.hopefully these guys will now get the recognition the deserve.,

  4. Indeed Joey, hopefully my sloppiness doesn’t detract from the gist of the review. I will tell Sir Paul you said hi ;-)

  5. Yes as others point out Bird in a Cage is about the move from city to Ennistymon Co Clare and to Steve Wall Sr’s shop – still open as of today.

    I’m a big fan of the lads and have to say, without sounding too biased, that The Great Escape is an absolute work of art. One of several excellent tunes on this album. Overall another great work and really puts some of the X factor inspired rubbish that hits the radio waves these days, and is repeated ad nauseam, into perspective.

    Missed the gig in Whelans. Lads will ye do a Friday or Saturday PLEASE. Hope to see them in Dublin soon.


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