Deliverance is a rare aspect of life that’s unknown till it’s needed. When in more dire situations the urgency is more apparent, but it’s the subconscious facet - the kind that comes to realisation when hearing a cutting guitar line or a melodious cacophony is controlling you - that’s the rare kind.
Throughout Irish newcomers, New Pagans' debut outing is a battle of light and darkness, and more importantly those moments that deliver you something unexpected.
Featuring a handful of singles already released on their Glacial Erratic EP, their place in the bigger picture is what makes The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All an extensively captivating listen. The edges are sharp, the swirling momentum is graceful - everything is made to arrest you in some format.
Immediately the erupting storm from the opening moment of “It’s Darker” sets the pace. Where the New Pagans chemistry is made up of equal parts wicked rumbling bass, striking and biting guitars coursing through the mire completed by focused and determined rapture of drums it’s Lyndsey McDougall’s vocals, loaded with a demand shimmering through, that tie the onslaught together.
Often flirting with the idea of becoming unhinged, New Pagans always find their way back to the raucous rock ’n’ roll made for dark bars and clubs packed with communal feelings, and always ready to offer insight or empowerment. Theirs is an energy that’s ready to burst, a maelstrom for rockers, lovers and yearners alike - even when at their most subdued (“Admire”) the static feels like it’s merely charging.
Proving themselves adept masters of the emotional pull, lyrically and melodically it’s impossible to not fall into the lush quilt when it all comes together in aplomb. Even when McDougall is lamenting mercifully “You’re easy to have / when you’re down on your knees / crawling about in the dirt for me” (“Charlie Has the Face of a Saint”), the comfort outweighs all else.
At 11 tracks, there’s little time for things to repeat, and when moments do start to tread upon their own toes, a sharp turn is made into new territory - with the rumbling clouds comes that fresh breeze to continue offering lung full of air, ready to properly forward once more ("Harbour").
Pixies and other contemporary comparisons are inevitable, but there’s a unique story-telling element that offers whip-smart lyricism setting them apart. New Pagans are a powerful band - not only in their musical abilities but in their way of conjuring something more, something to believe in.