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Adam’s Curse: What The Ancients Knew

If you’re like me you’ll remember Glyder with fondness and a regret that the authentic classic rockers with a penchant for a Thin Lizzy style never quite attained the success that their pretty fantastic body of work deserved. One of the main men behind that band, guitarist, song writer and now singer, Bat Kinane has stayed active since Glyder’s demise in 2011, with his Maggy Simpson album being an interesting outing that promised much without ever quite delivering the knock out blows you hoped it would. In many ways it was a change of tack from a man who seemed a little disillusioned with the rock n roll world and, as with Glyder before it, Maggy became a project gone too soon.

What The Ancients Knew, which is the debut outing from Adam’s Curse, is, to my knowledge, Bat’s first outing since the Maggy days and, in truth, a band born through Covid restriction frustrations. As with so many musical diversions that have seen the light of day during 2020, at least we do have some reasons to be thankful for how this most bizarre of years has turned out.
In many ways this is a simple album, constructed round heartfelt, insightful lyrics that have a certain fragility that draws you in. I wouldn’t call the music itself secondary but there’s a feel that the main reason this album came into being was for Bat to tell his rather beguiling stories, whether that be the tribute to Phil Lynott via “A Vibe For Philo”, which recounts one of the celebrations for the much missed Lizzy man that Bat and his old band performed at, or the personal tale of life and family in “Canoe”. Along the way “Tattoos And Loneliness” finds memories in body art that may well be better left to flitter into the ether, while “Funeral Of My Soul” - which reminds in tone of a less grandiose “Sowing The Seeds Of Love” by Tears For Fears - is an introspective glance that you can’t help but believe in.

What’s used to present these hugely thoughtful words are a number of touching points that you’d expect from the main man behind them - joined here by friends John Treacy and drummer Brendan Gilligan - as Bat pulls from his Lizzy references for not just “A Vibe For Philo”, but also, in places “Satellite”, which modernises the approach, and “Unmask Your Face”, which would be a great fit for Black Star Riders. Vocally Bat maybe doesn’t quite have the punch truly required to make a massive lasting mark on the rockier fare, although conversely his more melodic tones on the less rambunctious moments like the wonderful “Stargazer” or folk feeling “Poison Spring” are maybe just a little too pulled in. However, as with many a poet, the one true voice that can convey their emotions is their own and that’s definitely the case here. A more natural singer could, arguably, make a much more forceful impact, but would they capture the clear, emotional outpourings that What The Ancients Knew thrives on? I’d suggest not.

This album is a very welcome return from a much missed musician and songwriter. Fans of Bat Kinane’s previous work will not only find a lot to like here but also a musician and man who has matured and grown as time has moved on and who is once again willing to share his insights along the way. Hopefully it won’t be a one off.

Track Listing
1. A Vibe For Philo
2. Stargazer
3. Tattoos And Loneliness
4. Borrowed Time
5. Poison Spring
6. Canoe
7. Funeral Of My Soul
8. Satellite
9. What Lives Matter
10. Unmask Your Face
11. What The Ancients Knew About Us
12. Starlight

Added: December 11th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: What The Ancients Knew @ Bad Reputationadams_curse
Hits: 510
Language: english

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