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Horslips: Aliens

If you read my reviews last year of The Man Who Built America and The Tain you will know I am a huge fan of the Irish band Horslips. Well, here is another album for your perusal, their 1977 release Aliens remastered by Peter Mew. Many fans of the band’s earlier albums didn’t like their change in direction which can clearly he heard on Aliens and further explored on America. Mostly gone are the band’s folk leanings vying instead for a pop rock approach that is as catchy as anything you would have heard back in the day.

If this was a full-fledged prog band you might think a title like Aliens would conjure an outer space saga but nothing could be further from the truth. In the 1840s the Great Famine (or Great Hunger) led to starvation and disease. Potato crops were ravaged by a blight, and the ensuing hardship forced a great emigration to the United States as people looked for a brighter future. Hence the title Aliens.

The hooks come fast and often beginning with “The Wrath Of The Rain”, an upbeat and supremely hook laden number with melodic guitar riffs and infectious lead vocals. The use of organ is much appreciated. “Sure The Boy Was Green” combines guitar riffs and vocals ala Thin Lizzy with flute clearly influenced by Tull’s Ian Anderson. Another great track. The mid paced “Speed The Plough” is another catchy pop rocker with excellent lead guitar work. A deep bass groove, catchy riffs and Celtic flute lines highlight the engaging “Come Summer” supplying the listener with another great hook. “Stowaway” begins with sweet guitar slowly building into another ultra-catchy hook. The guitar gets a little heavier offering more delightful riffs and solos. Addictive flute and guitar riffs highlight “New York Wakes”, another great track in an album full of them.

What more can I say? Aliens is a near perfect complement to The Man Who Built America. That makes it a winner in my book.

Track Listing:
1. Before The Storm
2. The Wrath Of The Rain
3. Speed The Plough
4. Sure The Boy Was Green
5. Come Summer
6. Stowaway
7. New York Wakes
8. Exiles
9. Second Avenue
10. Ghosts
11. A Lifetime To Pay
12. Bonus Tracks:
13. New York Wakes (Live)
14. Speed The Plough (Live)
15. Sure The Boy Was Green (Live)

Added: May 10th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 305
Language: english

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