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The Owl Service & Alison O'Donnell - The Fabric of Folk [Static Carvan - 2008]

Having been very taken with  The Owl Service's wonderful debut album A Garland of Song and its refreshing and rewarding take on English folk and folk/rock, I was very egger to hear this collaboration with Alison O'Donnell (of  Irish prog-folk group Mellow Candle).

But sadly this for the most part this is a rather bland, lifeless and dusty Folk/rock collection of songs which could well have appeared in the mid 70’s. This falls on the rock and Celtic side of folk/rock thing- with the songs been executed with twee, bland and new aged tinged air. This is the kind of thing that put me off folk for many years , it lacks the atmosphere, darkness and creatively flair of many of the recent folk heads . It feels like been a ten year old   boy being made to wear itchy woollen jumper and watch smiley people doing folk with little passion or flare, sure it’s played competently enough but there’s no edge, depth or conviction here. The only real rewarding track is opener entitled the wooden coat which is an atmospheric, mysterious and edgy electric goth folk rock tune with O'Donnell sounding almost quite Jarboe like. But sadly this is too little to save the rest of this ep- which really is bargain bin fare.

An excise in folk blandness high with campness, tweeness, new-ageness and dreadful mock Celtic air. Avoid at all cost an less you’re an ageing folk rocker.

Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5

Roger Batty
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