Bell X1 Blue Lights On The Runway

Bell X1 Blue Lights On The Runway
Based on the rather average album Flock, it looked like Irish band Bell X1 were only ever going to known for two things: being the band that Damien Rice once belonged to and being the latest in a long line of bands who wanted to be either Snow Patrol or Coldplay. Yet in the past couple of years, they've thankfully somehow turned it around, to a certain degree. Blue Lights On The Runway is a more varied and interesting album than its predecessors and finds the band dipping their toes into some new territory. They might even be able to shake off the endless Snow Patrol comparisons because "How Your Heart Is Wired" is surprisingly reminiscent of the Blue Nile, while "The Great Defector" appears to be directly channelling Talking Heads. Unfortunately they don't quite manage to sustain that variety for the second half of the album and they lapse back into their melancholy old ways, and the songs begin to drag their heels. Still, it is a step in the right direction and that's the important thing, making this a surprisingly enjoyable record. (Yep Roc)