It’s difficult to know what to say about Where Is Your Messiah Now? by The Lagan without sounding an excitable fan because this is right up my street – my favourite genre is folk metal and this isn’t all that far from it, being described as ‘Celtic punk’! Upon hearing the opening drums right until the closing chords, this is an album that gripped me from start to finish. They almost remind me of a melodic Waylander, although whether this is purely down to the fact that both bands utilise a tin whistle in their songs is something that remains to be seen.
Opener Staring The Devil In The Eye is full of energy and potential. The track slowly builds up with the drums starting before various instruments kick in until the full band is playing together. The whole track is a fun song that is crying out to be danced to and it’s a great way to kick off this fantastic release. Sailin’ East follows on nicely, building on the ideas from the previous song. It’s wildly catchy and the violin solo in the middle is simply phenomenal – well worth a few listens before going onto the next song!
Work Away is a bright and cheerful-sounding tune featuring some fantastic musicianship from all members in the band. It has a wonderfully thick sound whilst still managing to sound light-hearted – very admirable!
One of the highlights of the album is definitely the cover of old Irish ballad Star Of The County Down. There have been many covers of this song over the years and but this is certainly one of the standout ones for me – although it doesn’t stray too far from the traditional rendition, it does add a more energetic twist to it and the cover works really well – in fact, if you didn’t know the song then you wouldn’t have noticed anything different, as it doesn’t sound out-of-place or “unusual” in comparison to the rest of the songs.
Sunny Day In Southie does exactly what it says on the packet – this is a good song to sit about in the sun and have a barbecue to, all whilst drinking a good pint. It’s just a feel-good summery song. Following track I’ll Tell Me Ma is another fantastic track featuring some fun lyrics and some foot-tappingly great music. If you don’t want to dance along to this track then I’m inclined to believe you’re wrong because it’s so fast-paced and energetic you can’t help but move to it!
The Good Ship Lagan was a massive surprise on my first listen. As I don’t want to “spoil” it for those who may not have heard it (as soon as the opening kicked in, it made me grin from ear-to-ear!) I won’t go into details here but just go and listen to this track – you’ll love it, I promise!
Same Shite, A Different Night is the standout track of the album. Wildly catchy with a massive sing-along chorus, this is a song that can just draw you in and get you tapping your foot and humming/singing along before you even notice what’s happening! I have no doubt that this is a song that goes down fantastically live because it’s just a barrel of enthusiasm.
Closing track The Fields Of Athenry is a slower one that winds down the album. It’s a great contrast to Same Shite and really showcases the band’s musical ability, as clearly they’re able to do justice to both fast and slow tracks – something which I tend to notice not all bands can manage. Plus, after the slower pace of this track, you can’t help but go back to the first track again which can never be a bad thing!
Overall, Where Is Your Messiah Now? is one heck of an amazing release – check this band out now! I promise you they won’t disappoint.