Ciaran Lavery & The Bad Hearts: To The Maker Of Things........4 Stars
Solemn and heartfelt, the opening two tracks of this four song EP thoroughly showcase the Ben Ottewell flavours Ciaran's rasp that first drew attention his way. During his days with Captain Kennedy, Ciaran's voice was always a force of nature but here he explores Tom Waits tones and phrasing, fitting the more laid back direction of The Bad Hearts especially in the too short Til You're Leaving. Ciaran's new outfit give classy support, with some restrained banjo and sweet backing vocals from Edelle McMahon. I found myself waiting for some of the tracks to take off and move towards a crescendo, which nearly happens during Needle & Thread, but even though Ciaran's voice is at its most impressive when pushed and full-bodied, I suppose it's too his credit that he's prepared to leave that in the bank occasionally.