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Men They Couldn't Hang - Devil on the Wind

  by Helen Tipping

published: 5 / 7 / 2009

Men They Couldn't Hang - Devil on the Wind
Label: Irregular Records
Format: CD


Formulaic first album in six years from the increasingly Country and Western-influenced Men They Couldn't Hang, which, while starting promisingly, quickly slips into predictability

Last time I saw the Men They Couldn't Hang I have to admit that I had got a bit bored with their sound. It seemed more Country and Western, and less folk. This album, 'Devil on the Win'd sticks with the Americana sound, but there are other influences that can be heard in here, from Irish folk to klezmer. This is their first album in six years, although they have been touring during that time. It starts off well. Title track, 'Devil on the Wind', has a Jewish / Eastern European violin on it which really brings it to life, and lifts the track up and away from its country roots. I think this is without a doubt my favourite track on the album. Following on from this, 'The Ragged Shoreline' is as Irish as you can get outside of Ireland. There may be a touch of Americana in there as well, but it sounds Irish to me. Fighting for the best track on the album claim is third track 'Beast of Brechfa'. This doesn't have a pronounced country sound and reminds me of The Clash's 'Guns of Brixton' - in a good way, because it's got that rock sound whilst using different ins. This is another outstanding track. Another goodie is 'Reservoir', a great danceabout track. Again it has more of an Irish feel to it. Sadly much of the rest of the album returns to the steel guitar and harmonica formula and I find myself getting bored with it. It reminds me of Radio 2 music when I was younger and it all feels like filler tracks, and so I'm just writing this generic filler bit of review for it. I have to say that after the start of the album I was disappointed by the later tracks, they are a band with a great pedigree and I'd like to see more of the originality that I found in the earlier tracks on the album.

Track Listing:-
1 Devil on the Wind
2 The Ragged Shoreline
3 Beast of Brechfa
4 Mrs Avery
5 Reservoir
6 Overseas
7 Heartbreak Park
8 Aquamarine
9 A Real Rain Coming
10 Hard To Find
11 Lost World

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Men They Couldn't Hang - Interview
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