Island - 2003 - 49 minutes

Although they originated in Cork and are named after a Wonderstuff song, Rubyhorse sound like nothing less than a purebred American rock band. With a big sound, an epic vision and vocalist Dave Farrell's mid-Atlantic accent, not to mention an album-full of hook-laden songs, Rubyhorse have hitched their wagon to the stars and don't intend on coming back down to earth any time soon.

After tiring of college bar gigs in Cork, Rubyhorse set their sights across the Atlantic, moved to Boston in 1997 and got themselves a weekly residency in a traditional music pub. A flurry of record company interest and one failed deal later, the band eventually signed to Island to release their third album 'Rise'.

Laden with ambition, 'Rise' has plenty of radio-friendly songs, including current single 'Sparkle'. Farrell sounds eerily like Peter Gabriel on 'Live Through This', 'Into the Lavender' wouldn't have been out of place during the height of Oasis-fuelled Britpop and 'The First of the Year' is their Beatles homage, complete with analogue crackle. There's even slide guitar from a certain George Harrison on 'Punchdrunk'.

"I'm ready," says a disembodied female voice at the start of the album - it's a statement of intent for Rubyhorse.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Happy in the Sunshine - Sparkle - Any Day Now - Into the Lavender - Evergreen - Horseless - Punchdrunk - Bitter - Teenage Distraction - Live Through This - First of the Year