Catchy Go Go Records – 2001 – 42 minutes
After a seven-inch ('Bellies With Gold'), a beautifully packaged EP ('The Wandering One') and a single ('Love Hurts'), Dublin band El Diablo have released their debut album, '23rd Psalm Café'. Taking their obsession with all things American to a logical conclusion, this is straight-up country music. The core trio of Anna Carey, Patrick Freyne and Pól Ó Conghaile play songs which wouldn't sound out of place in the bars of Nashville, where they recorded this summer.
'23rd Psalm Café' comes complete with lyrics about trailer parks, Johnny Cash, heartbreak and good girls gone bad. One of the highlights is their cover version of the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris classic 'Love Hurts'. While nothing can touch the poignancy of that 1973 version, Carey and Freyne make a good stab at it.
It's not all slow, mellow country though. The hoedown swing of 'Shitkickers Inc' and the stop-start roar of 'Intemperate Man' make for a more upbeat tempo. Carey's sweet voice is a good counterpoint to Freyne's rich rumble – but there are moments when the harmonies simply don't work. An interesting, if occasionally patchy debut.
Tracklisting: Maryland Bed - Bellies With Gold - My Wild Rose - Love Hurts - Trailer Park Blues - Shitkickers Inc. - Jerusalem Hills - The Wandering One - Intemperate Man - Our Love's Gone Wrong Again – Fists