With ‘Madra’, NewDad have left the lo-fi chrysalis of their Galway bedrooms behind in favour of an ambitious, widescreen rock’n’roll sound. Everything about ‘Madra’ is bigger and better.  Even the album’s quitter moments twinkle with greater clarity than ever before.

Recorded in the legendary Rockfield Studios (Queen, Oasis) by Northern Irish hotshot producer/musician Chris W. Ryan who previously worked on the group’s early EPs, ‘Madra’ sees the quartet embracing a ‘90s alt rock sound.

While the Pixies and The Cure are clearly touchstones, the influence of Billy Corgan is palpable on the album’s more pulsating moments such as Angel, Sickly Sweet and Nightmares. The latter marks a first for the group in that singer Julie Dawson co-wrote the song with songwriter to the stars, Justin Parker, who has penned hits with and for the likes of Lana del Rey and Rhianna.

There’s more than a glimpse of light between the gloom on ‘Madra’.  The likes of Change My Mind showcases the group’s ability to create something more akin to a radio-friendly Cranberries-esque slow burn, while Nosebleed, the album’s unexpected melodic centrepiece, feels like it was precision engineered by the secret society of sad bangers.

The group’s love of Cure B-sides is more than evident on the album’s title track, which culminates in Sean O’Dowd letting lose like never before. In short, ‘Madra’ is a near-perfect shot of modern shoegaze – morose, melodic and utterly comforting.