Superstar Tradesmen Debut album ‘Pen to Page’ Review

Superstar Tradesmen - Pen to Page

Superstar Tradesmen, a Dublin based four-piece Indie Rock outfit released their debut album ‘Pen to Page’ in October this year. From first listen I immediately started thinking, these guys grew up listening to Oasis, Blur; Stereophonics… you get the idea. I was worried this was an album that might not be relevant nowadays but then I always forget Noel and Liam Gallagher have had two very successful projects since Oasis, so that audience remains intact. Take the Arctic Monkeys for example, they have forged a sound from very similar roots and expanded to huge audiences inspiring new waves of that same indie scene. I’m not saying Superstar Tradesmen’s debut album is the next Definitely Maybe but it could be, maybe…

The opening track ‘Maybe I Won’t Be’ is suitably energetic for a positive-feel opener and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The vocals are noticeably smooth, melodic and really do shine in the chorus. I suspect you won’t find defeated or miserable musicians here. The next track of note is ‘Cross the Line’ which has a more adventurous vibe and gallops along in a somewhat country-rock manner. The chorus is not unlike Alex Turner’s Last Shadow Puppets project in terms of sound, so the band’s influences and potential appeal begins to unravel throughout the album. The title track ‘Pen to Page’ is the bigger, slower track. Rich in harmony and plenty of emotional strength, it is easy to see why this is the flagship of the album.

Overall, the album recalls a lot of components of the Indie groups we all became so familiar with during the 90s and depending on who you are, that’s a good thing or a really bad thing. If there’s resurgence afoot, Superstar Tradesmen will sit nicely into this and produce something of value I’m sure. For me, it reminded me of too many pub bands that didn’t set themselves apart from the rest stylistically. There’s no doubt Superstar Tradesmen have worked hard on their debut release and have passed a significant milestone in their musical careers, however I would urge them to keep developing their craft if they mean to go pro. Now is the time to gig heavily, market the album and harness that focus which recording an album brings to get writing again.

It’s worth mentioning the group have been signed to a US label, Mervilton Records recently. This isn’t any reason for the group to be complacent as I couldn’t find any future tour dates for the album. It leaves you wondering if they need some well-earned time off after the album. I wouldn’t blame them but I think under-promoting an album is a mistake and gigs are the best marketing tool any band could ever have at their disposal.

‘Pen to Page’ is available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify…