Listening to this album by the Skelocrats titled Bella Bella was an experience that I haven’t had in a very long time. What I mean by that is this: simplicity. This album stood out to me from the beginning because of its simple, lighthearted nature. It isn’t over produced like many albums are today. It was just talented musicians playing and capturing that essence on an album. It is simply a feel good album, which will lighten your mood no matter what day it is.
The band consists of four members, Paddy Hanna (drums), Bronwyn Murphy-White (bass), Mike Stevens (guitar) and Padraig Cooney (guitar). One element of this band that really stood out was the vocals, because everyone in the band performs vocals at one time or another. It added great variety to the album, and made each song fresh to listen to. Each member of the band did an outstanding job on vocals on this album, whether they were singing the melody or harmony.
The first song on this album that grabbed most of my attention was the third track, titled Lyin’ Eyes. I immediately felt a familiar vibe from the song, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The guitar and bass lines are so light and uplifting. It’s rhythmic, but without being too in your face. The drums keep a steady beat and give the song a swaying feel, yet they have elements of rock to them too that are subtly there in the background. The vocal performance was outstanding. The lead and backing vocalists all sound beautiful and you can’t help but smile and relax. The entire song has that wonderful effect on the listener, it’s impossible not to enjoy. Then finally it hit me; I knew what it reminded me of. It was a song called Please Mr. Postman released by The Marvelettes in 1961. It had that same Motown feel and vibe. Lyin’ Eyes is just a wonderful song.
The next song that I felt stood out was Tennis Aberration, track number eight from the album. It had me pinned from the start with the guitar chord playing at the beginning. It’s a very upbeat song with a quick tempo. One of the two elements that stood out to me most were the vocals. The melody has you hooked from the start, and when the harmonies join in it almost becomes an anthem. This song also has a lot of intensity and drive, just grabbing you and swinging you around with it. The only thing that could have possibly made it any better was if there was some sort of synth solo in it which I discovered right in the middle of the track. Don’t forget to check this track out because it is one that will stick with you!
Overall I really have to say that I loved this album. It’s everything that you have and haven’t heard before, a bit mind blowing to be honest. Everyone involved in this album has buckets of creativity, and they’ve painted all over the wall with it. They capture your imagination by using simplicity and fun. You can’t help but feel good and dream of sunny days when listening to this album. They have captured the essence of their music and that’s exactly what makes it so fantastic and enjoyable. It’s unique, creative, fun. This album gets a four out of five from me. If you haven’t heard it yet, go listen now. When you do, you’ll be dragged into a world of music you haven’t experienced before.