Bought a copy of Stömp's latest album at the launch ceilidh on Sunday. Am finding it a little on the disappointing side, so I thought I'd write down my thoughts on it here.
It could possibly be because Machine Without Horses was such a good album that I had very high expectations (the band's lineup has changed slightly since then so the new album was always going to be different).
There are some lovely tunes on the album. Mockfjard and the Polskas provide a very promising start to the album, but it never quite follows up on this. Later in the album Mr Gifford's Maggot is great fun. Milladoiro is an earworm in the extreme, but one I really don't mind having stuck in my head all day :-)
However, the style seems much lighter than Machine Without Horses or even the way they sound live, which is a shame as this seems a big part of what sets them apart from other ceilidh bands.
The album is broken up by the occasional song, which is a nice idea, except the songs seem a little on the bland side compared with the other tracks on the album.
It also seems to have lost a lot of the innovation from the first album. Machine Without Horses always seemed to have a surprise up it's sleeve around every corner (eg the seamless transition from the Traditional North Country Polka into a cover of Iron Maiden's Mother Russia). I Claim My Five Pounds lacks that in the extreme.
So, all in all, a good album from a very good band, but it's nothing special.