Listening to Cian Nugent (backed by his band, The Cosmos) for the first time and thinking – why the fuck haven’t I heard of his music before?
I mean, that’s a real music industry systemic failure right there and then. The Dubliner plays vibrant, squeaky-clean guitar that recalls the likes of Richard Thompson/Fairport Convention, Bert Jansch/Pentangle and even Tom Verlaine/Television.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that previous material were instrumental in nature and that only now, does Nugent reveal his singer-songwriter side? Perhaps.
In any case, the two sides of Nugent can be neatly summed up in the back to back numbers, “Shadows” and “Lucy” – the former is a Van Morrison-esque soul-jazz-blues slow burn that simply transports the listener to kinder, gentler climes whilst the latter is an acoustic guitar folk instrumental that brings back personal memories of Jimmy Page and Chris Howe on those late 60s/early 70s rock albums.
And that guitar is always front and centre, which is so refreshing in this day and age, where the instrument has been so marginalised in the wake of synthesised sounds. So yeah, maybe Nugent and band is a bit of an anachronism but fingers crossed that his timeless music gets the attention it most surely deserves.
Unlike previous album Born with the Caul, there is only one over six-minute song here, the near-12 minute closing track – “Year of the Snake” – which traverses the space between pastoral classical motifs and full-blown Velvet’s freakout ala “White Light, White Heat” breathtakingly.
Like a breath of fresh air, Cian Nugent blows away the cobwebs that have been mucking up the windows of modern rock of late, to simply let the light in!