This is Merry Hell’s third album and the band are into their stride. There is a tightness and polish evident in this collection of songs, indicative of a band that is comfortable in itself. This is a jam packed feast of fifteen tracks, so, no sign of writer’s block here.
There are jolly jigs, shanties and a soupcon of country & western in the mix. The songs are often reflective, witty and never dull. The voices intertwine well and the musicianship accomplished.
There are so many good tracks that it is impossible to take it all in on any cursory listen. It is an album that insists on multiple visits. It also presents the reviewer’s quandary of picking favourite songs.
Nevertheless, here are my top picks from the disc. ‘There’s a Ghost In My House’ is a confident opener, with a melody that sticks. The marvellous ‘Human Communion’ starts with single guitar and Virginia Kettle’s solo voice tripping a catchy tune and slowly the band joins in. Also worthy of mention is ‘Love Is A Game’ a pleasant, danceable ditty. Topping the list are the barn-strutting ‘No Money’ and the humorous ‘Hey. Scotty’. Of course, with subsequent visits, I am sure other tracks will become firm favourites. Such is music.
Not a filler amongst this choc filled album. It’s all typical “Merry Hell” and that should be good enough for anybody. Having enjoyed their first two albums, I am pleased to say the group is going from strength to strength.
If you have never sampled the delights of this band before, this album is an excellent introduction to their music.
Ron D Bowes
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If you’ve not seen this before (and why not?) – ‘There’s A Ghost In Our House’: