Eamon McGrath – 13 Songs of Whiskey and Light

Re-release Date 28/04/2009
By Alex Phelan

As Eamon slurs through smoke-shredded throat, “Well I got myself a drinking problem now, but I blame it on the town,” during the jagged and shadowy ‘Desperation, Alberta’, you’ll get butterflies and register that this album is superb.

This Canadian fella has only just hit his twenties, that’s the scary thing. He sounds like he has the burden of an entire lifetime on his shoulders, and damn he knows how to make you feel every tear of it.

After easing you in with the piano-lead ‘Welcome to the Heart’, he catches you off guard with ‘Machine Gun Cowboy’ and its sneering folk-punk sensibilities. He growls moodily, “I’m going up to heaven soon,” and Cobain is up there somewhere listening thinking that maybe things weren’t so bad.

The psychedelia of ‘Last Man Standing’ flows into drinking song ’Cadillac Rosetown’, past the majestic sway of ‘Holy Roller’ and into that first song I mentioned.

Bonus points are added for the song title ‘Darby Crash and Burn Guitars’ before the album draws to an increasingly sombre close.

It begins to feel momentarily like the whole thing is in danger of fizzling out, before the absolutely sublime ‘Ecstasy Railings’ drags you helplessly into a blissful coked up coma, a serene drug-ballad that book-ends the release perfectly.

13 Songs of Whiskey and Light is in fact merely a compilation of old material released in anticipation of Eamon’s first album proper, to be titled Peace Maker. You have every right to be excited.

 

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