Record review: Culann – Culann

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The release of a debut album is a rite of passage that many grassroots bands unfortunately do not manage to reach.

After a lot of love and care, Culann‘s debut album more than lives up to its long-time-in-the-making hype.

Mastered by Jon Astley, the man who has twiddled knobs for Porcupine Tree, The Who, and countless others, Culann sounds beautiful.

Right from the off in ‘Jerusalem’ there is a distinct sound unlike any other band about at the moment – the guitars sound heavy without over-whelming you with walls of distortion; the drums pound with a clarity that is usually heard in the world’s best nightclubs.

And then you notice the musicianship; there is frantic, virtuoso strumming which takes a backseat because, while it is necessary, it is part of a whole – it combines with the rolling snare and the ascending vocals to make an explosive chorus.

And then there’s a riff straight out of the old school rock ‘n’ roll rule book – there are more ideas going on in the first track than there are in many bands’ entire back catalogues.

Live favourite ‘Beat Your Chest’ is given the remastering treatment, making it sound even more massive than before.

The delicate little tweaks that the band have made shows they are perfectionists, analysing each song bar by bar until it gets as close to perfection as it possibly can.

Lead-single ‘Salvation’ is an accessible anthem with a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days.

Elsewhere, things can be a little more challenging, ‘Brain Canyon’ is a sprawling seven plus minute of a track that takes you up and over and through, with an extended piano solo in the middle, it’s an incredible piece, and one that sums up what Culann are all about in one song.

‘I Am The Red’ deserves to be a live favourite for years to come as it gives the whole band a chance to shine on vocals, with an excellent (and very Scottish) climax.

It’s impossible to compare Culann to any band currently on the scene but it’s thanks to this that they are on to a winning formula – Culann stand in a league of their own and thanks their debut album, the only way they will be heading is up.

Words: Scott Wilson

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