Any Given Element
First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2006, Volume 13, #1
Written by Kirk deCordova
Fans of high-powered, Celtic-tinged rock ínĎ roll need look no further than The Killdaresí long-awaited studio effort Any Given Element. The album is packed with scorching new material that features the bandís famously vibrant edge. Throughout the endeavor, hard-driving grooves are matched with powerful vocals, excellent fiddling, haunting bagpipes, slick guitar, and a beat that reaches out and grabs the listener. Taken in total, the outing is certain to please any self-respecting leprechaun.
Any Given Element commences with rolling electric guitar and mournful violin, but everything bursts into flames as September, one of the strongest cuts on the album, kicks into gear. The song speaks to both the passage of time as well as to lost love, as is evidenced in the lyrics: "And itís coming on September and I feel as though Iíve aged/August with its searing heat, October with its rage/And the time will quickly pass; another year has gone away/Another season turns to ashes, turns my bitter winter into gray."
September might have been a tough act to follow, but The Killdares keeps the momentum moving as Roberta Rastís spirited fiddling drives Calendar, and the instrumental Farewell to Decorum fuses bagpipe, fiddle, and percussion to form a Irish-tinged approximation of Electric Light Orchestra. Rast also keeps the melodic Dichotomy aloft, and quite frankly, she plays with such natural ease that itís easy to understand why she won top honors at the 34th Annual Grand Master Fiddler Championship in Nashville. Elsewhere, Wasted conjures the illusion of a midway carnival; Gone West tells the story of struggling immigrants as they strive for a better life in America; and Fragile is one of many tracks that highlights the ensembleís outstanding vocal capacity. Masterfully produced with memorable lyrics, well-crafted melodies, and flawless musicianship, Any Given Element is an album that The Killdares undoubtedly is proud to have made, and one need not be celebrating St. Pattyís Day to appreciate it.
Any Given Element is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box