For all the times when a debut album works so well that it sounds like the band have been together for a decade; there are countless others where their limitations at that point in time are all too easy to hear.

Such has been the weight of expectation resting on Dublin band Director's shoulders that you had to wonder whether the touring schedule would be scrapped in favour of trips to the chiropractor once 'We Thrive on Big Cities' was released. No shows have been cancelled, but the load was too heavy for them.

There are two things lacking here: intensity and memorable songs. Both are rectifiable. Director are hampered by a too polite production - listen to this album straight after the Arctic Monkeys' and Editors' and you'll realise just how much - but that's part of a learning curve that Director can climb. As for the songs, as the likes of 'Reconnect' and 'Leave It to Me' show, frontman and songwriter Michael Moloney has potential; the challenge is to inject more power and force into his music.

For the moment, however, this is a case of too much too soon - and not enough where it really matters.

Harry Guerin