Express & Star

Brian Fallon, Local Honey - album review

Cut very much from the same New Jersey cloth as The Boss himself Bruce Springsteen, Brian Fallon made his name with The Gaslight Anthem, who often worked with their musical hero.

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The artwork for Brian Fallon's Local Honey

They reunited in 2018 but have been fairly quiet since, meaning the past few years have very much belonged to Fallon as a solo artist.

Local Honey is his third LP out on his own and follows on from Sleepwalkers in that same year his band got back together.

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It's soft, chilled out and, admittedly, a little dreary from start to finish. Its songs do that melding trick where one weaves into the next a little too easily and you're never quite sure which one you're on at that point.

Background music - yes. Attention grabbing, less so.

There are a couple of stand-out moments. I Don't Mind (If I'm With You) has one of those uplifting sing-along choruses his breakthrough band are well-known for.

And 21 Days is uplifting in its execution with those underlying, almost tip-toeing guitars that elevate the sound and encompass Fallon's gruff vocal chords in a kind of fluffy exterior that softens them. It's a poppier number and one that will surely go down a treat with his live audiences.

Brian Fallon

There's also Hard Feelings with its oily facade that soothes with ease from start to finish. And when those drums kick in for the main segments of the track it will get many a head bopping and feet tapping along. This track does actually demand to be taken seriously.

Fallon has always been pretty DIY and this record comes out on his very own Lesser Known Records alongside big-time Nashville distributors Thirty Tigers. It's produced by Grammy Award-winner Peter Katis (The National, Death Cab for Cutie, Interpol) and manages to flutter in some polished gravitas alongside the gravelly nature of its creator.

And while there is a large amount of credibility in that finished sound, it might leave a few feeling cold who preferred the big guitars and Boss-like roar of his band's work.

Rating: 5/10

Brian Fallon was due to play with his band The Howling Weather at Birmingham's O2 Institute on May 22, but this has been delayed until January 30, 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak