The extraordinary rise of The Coronas through old fashioned hard graft and touring has made them a rare domestic success story in straitened times. The fact that they have gold-plated industry contacts hasn’t hurt either. They’re never going to be acclaimed for bleeding edge experimentalism but the hirsute Dubliners’ well-executed guitar pop strikes a tasteful power chord in Ireland. Closer to You was produced in Hollywood (California, not Co Wicklow) by Kooks, Beck and Air producer Tony Hoffer but exposure to new climes and a new face behind the desk hasn’t changed The Coronas overly. This third album is once again stuffed with Danny O’Reilly’s lovelorn ballads and no cliché is left unturned in pursuit of windswept emotionalism. Mark My Words does the patented piano and soaring guitar thing to grand effect and Addicted to Progress is another sprightly radio hit, but the only real sign of that progress comes with the glowing slow build of the title track which reveals a growing mastery of solid song writing. The subtle ebb and flow of Blind Will Lead The Blind also proves The Coronas can be something more than merely tight and proficient but when they try on Mumford and Sons’ designer folk finery on My God and display a worrisome streak of religious fervour that they come a bit of a cropper. Overall The Coronas play it straight for the masses on another set that will please their fans and leave hipsters as bewildered as ever.

Alan Corr