Shoeshine Records - 2002 - 43 minutes

Proving that there's more to the Irish music scene than being based in the capital city, Cork's Boa Morte have just released their debut on Shoeshine Records. An album of quiet, unprepossessing beauty, 'Soon It Will Come Time To Face The World Outside' is a slow burner, sparse but elegant.

Having spent time practising above a milking parlour in Blarney, near Cork city, the quartet of Paul Ruxton (vocals, guitar), Bill Twomey (guitar), Cormac Gahan (vocals, bass) and drummer Maurice Hallissey followed their self-released EP ('Passenger Measure Your Time') with a deal on the Glasgow-based Shoeshine.

Occasionally mournful but never morbid, the influences of Americana lynchpins Will Oldham and Bill Callaghan can be heard throughout 'Soon…'. Reaching even further back into musical history, opener 'Clarence White' is a tribute to the country rock pioneer who worked with Gram Parsons and the Byrds in the sixties. Boa Morte know their history, also managing to work in a reference to the Maginot Line, the fortresses built by France in the 1930s to prevent a German invasion.

Other highlights include the brooding 'Burn', the soft swooshing of a milking machine on 'Milking Machine' and the solemnly beautiful 'North Star'. It's time for Boa Morte to face the world outside - and take a bow.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Clarence White - Tonight She Said - Mountains High Intro - Maginot Line - Burn - Unfortunate Leader - Snowbound Again - Summer Intro - Tired Eyes - December - North Star - Milking Machine