It’s hard to believe it’s been three whole years since The Minutes burst onto the Irish music scene with their debut album, ‘Marcata’. Since then, they’ve toured relentlessly in virtually anywhere possible and continued to deliver their raw, gritty rock ‘n’ roll for their adorning fans. ‘Live Well, Change Often’ continues in the same vein – but it’s bigger, ballsier and better than anyone could have expected.
From the first strums of Mark Austin’s guitar on opening track Hold My Hand, it’s clear that ‘Live Well, Change Often’ is going to be an album to remember. It’s more refined and punchy than ‘Marcata’ was, and that is helped greatly by the legendary Garth Richardson, who produced the album in Vancouver. The ever booming rhythm section comprised of Shane Kinsella and Tom Cosgrave shines the whole way through, vehemently driving each track from start to finish.
Second track Seven Seas is one of the stand out tracks of the album, a rip-roaring song that shows again how well linked in the rhythm section is, and it even features a nice bass led breakdown. Austin’s little guitar solos throughout compliment the feel of the song, and add a bit of a classic rock feel to it.
Cherry Bomb, which was released on March 20th as a single, is one of those songs that you’ll either tap your foot and bob your head to, or just lose yourself to. It’s good old rock ‘n’ roll, that will surely be a favourite during their much adored live performances. Lo And Behold is a much slower track, and is the only real drop of intensity throughout the entire album. It’s a very minimal song, mainly using a solitary guitar and Austin’s very emotive vocals. A string section adds another layer to the song, and provides a new depth. The sheer emotion towards the end of the song is especially seen when Austin croons: “If that ain’t what you believe/ you’re dead in the water, I can’t see you bleed.”
It can be hard as a band to succeed as a three piece, but The Minutes are a band that definitely don’t struggle there. Every possible gap is filled with a torrent of sound or by pure energy, making their sophomore effort have a definite edge over their debut in every way. It may not be possible to bottle the gritty, raw rock ‘n’ roll that The Minutes deliver, but ‘Live Well, Change Often’ does a pretty damn good job of it. The self-proclaimed saviours of rock ‘n’ roll may have just hit the nail on the head in that regard.