Bell X1 Flock

Most of what has been written in the past about Bell X1 has focussed on other artists. Not only do they have to deal with the fact that their former lead singer just happened to be Damien Rice, and he left the band immediately before he became a huge star, but it doesn’t help that, like many other bands, they sound more than a little like Coldplay or early Radiohead. Yet in the past five years they’ve become one of the most popular bands in Ireland. Flock was initially released in Ireland back in 2005, and while it doesn’t sound particularly dated, it definitely has a few stale moments where the band appear to have run out of ideas. Much like Snow Patrol, when they are good their songs simply soar, but that merely emphasises how much better they are than the rest of the album. So for every gem like the slow-building "Lamposts” there are three or four generic songs that drag their heels. Bell X1 are the perfect iTunes band — download the good songs that will inevitably be licensed for some TV show and ignore the others. (Island)