A band for all driving conditions

I GOT the new CD from Malojian about three weeks ago when Northern Ireland was subject to blizzardous conditions.

I put it on in the car and ‘The Deer’s Cry’ provided an excellent soundtrack for driving through the snow. It was both a guiding beacon and a calming influence.

To say the CD was ideal for snowy roads, is not to say it isn’t suitable for the vast majority of driving conditions.

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Stevie Scullion, who for years worked alongside Jonny Toman as Cat Malojian, has produced one of the best albums you’re likely to get your hands on this year.

Since parting company with Stevie and dropping the Cat from the band’s name, Stevie has established himself as a genre-transcending poplord, but it’s good to see he hasn’t forgotten his folk rock roots which underpin the majority of compositions on this album.

Fans of Stevie’s former band will lap up songs like the ‘Watch The Rain’ and ‘Old Timer’ while his new direction is laid out for all to hear on tracks like ‘Checkmate’ where carefully crafted guitar chords give way to a dance beat that is the closest you’re likely to get to a dancefloor filler on a Malojian record.

‘Julie-Anne’ holds the key to unlock mainstream radio stations while ‘Often Wonder’ maintains an indie kudos.

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There’s a touch of Lurgan humour too as Stevie blames Mario for ‘bringing all the computers’ thus ruining his world.

While many bands nowadays produce albums depending on two big singles to carry the rest of the disc, it’s refreshing to hear an album with six or seven songs that could be considered heavyweights, floating like butterflies, stinging like bees, but most importantly having the listener humming along like a hummingbird (or equivalent humming animal if you can think of a less obvious one).

Don’t wait until the next snowfall - get this album now.

‘The Deer’s Cry’ is available from http://malojian.bandcamp.com/album/the-deers-cry

Review by Graeme Cousins