Reekus Records - 2004 - 47 minutes

Veterans of past campaigns in the Irish music scene, Stephen M, Mark Dennehy and Annie Tierney could tell a few cautionary tales from the frontlines. A glance at the family tree of The Radio reveals its fondly remembered relatives that you really intended to visit more often. Johnny Pyro, Chicks, Rollerskate Skinny - the names are more familiar than the music to most. Now reassembled as The Radio, 'Kindness' sees new music wrung from the working parts of these neglected bands.

Opening with 'Remember Me, Remember You' and following that with the excellent 'Empire', the signs are good early on. Dense and melodic, the songs are carried by waves of guitars and the vocals of Annie Tierney. Her voice has a childlike quality to it, an ability to turn any song into a lullaby. While this gives the early tracks a quirky edge, the unbearably saccharine 'Sleepy Eyes' is capable of suffocating any goodwill you may have towards this band in under four minutes.

Even though a tendency towards inane singalongs is always present, the finer songs combine the hazy vocals with swirling guitars to wonderful effect. However the struggle with aimlessness becomes less successful as the album nears an end, leaving in its wake a handful of impeccably produced, atmospheric but ultimately unfulfilling tracks.

Although armed with occasionally lightweight tunes, The Radio operates with a sound that is remarkably fully formed and fine tuned, and the lush production and talent behind this debut album would suggest that their ambitions should not be modest.

Ray Donoghue

Tracklisting: Remember Me Remember You - Empire - Whatever Gets You Through Today - Promenade Star - Tomorrow - Sleepy Eyes - All Will Pass - Satellite Hearts - Archangels - Jaded Steps - Hang On