Echo and The Bunnymen

Red Rum Club - Matador

The Liverpool six piece released their debut album 'Matador' on the impeccable Modern Sky label (The Blinders & Calva Louise) earlier this month.

It's a real album of two halves. The free flowing euphoria of the first half screams single after single before, sadly petering out. Nevertheless, their peers will have to go far to match the anthem heavy first 6 songs.

'Angeline' is a tour de force of their home city Liverpool. Vocally, front man Fran Doran has channelled The Zutons' Dave McCabe whilst the guitarists have found their inner Will Sergeant. The most striking aspect comes from the Midlands though. The Dexys inspired soul is hear warmingly rousing.

The use of brass is key to the albums success and failures. It adds richness to 'Would You Rather Be Lonely?' and 'TV Said So', giving the true stand-out moments. The former, takes the crisp soul of The Style Council and the playful side of The Coral's early work on this tale of battling of loneliness. It's a song, so empathetic in nature, it could only come from the good people of their great city. 'TV Said So', continues on a similar vein James Skelly-esque vocals and the sumptuous guitar licks and wobbles.

However, in the latter stages, the brass becomes overpowering and disjointed on the Latin and Mexican grooves of 'Calexico' and 'Casanova'. The every-man soul and pop prowess disintegrates but, you cannot deny that, Red Rum Club are shackle free and willing to take chances.

Ultimately, 'Matador's cons are so few they pale into significance. This album is so well stocked in bangers that, it has potential of a two year run on the album charts.