Album review: O Emporer – Vitreous

O Emporer - Vitreous

O Emporer - Vitreous - Credit: Archant

Inventive adventurers O Emporer carve new trade routes between alt-folk and psych-rock to make their own mark.

After sharing stages with Mumford & Sons and Villagers on the back of their debut, Irish outfit O Emporer’s studio follow-up finds a band let off the leash in creativity’s fields.

Based in psych-rock and alt-folk, Vitreous is a restless but rewarding listen.

There’s more than a hint of Grandaddy’s DIY feel with warm analogue synths and fuzzy guitars (particularly on Holy Fool’s chugging psych) while the punchy, strident Contact reveals a penchant for invigorating power.

Sunshine – and a pleasing, opiated disorientation – streams through Land Of The Living, and closer This Is It feels like a valedictory explosion of chemistry set fireworks.

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Not to mention the warmly twee vocals, redolent of Tom Brosseau, on opener Grandmother Mountain, where an urban wretch craves the claustrophobic grime of his “gutbucket bedsit” life, a gentle piano lope building to superb psych-guitar outro.

Focus, solid musicianship and cogent songwriting ties up Vitreous’ gambolling sense of adventure, resulting in a potent, distinctive record.

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Rating: 4/5

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