niall-colfer-ep-coverA former member of early 00’s Wexford band Salthouse, this is Niall Colfer’s first solo release in nearly four years. ‘Before the Night Goes’ sees Colfer progressing on  from his 2009 album ‘Finds’  for a more mature record mixing folk, melodic guitar and softly sung vocals. If that sounds all too generic within the singer songwriter genre, Colfer is capable of separating himself from the pack with splashes of pop rock to present full-bodied songs that veer away from the standard perception . A case in point is Easy Mind. You would need to have your ears detached to resist this song. Full of chiming guitars and smooth as butter melodies, this is as fine a song as Colfer has created and it wouldn’t sit out-of-place on a Brendan Benson or Teenage Fanclub album.

The remaining three songs of the EP are much more sedate affairs. Blew Away, For All The Where’s And Whys and Before The Night Goes are more mature songs with an Americana influence courtesy of producer Sean Coleman who introduces lap steel guitar on Blew Away to the wurlitzer electric keyboard on the title track. All three songs offer the same comforting mellow warmth and gentle atmospherics. They are “nice” songs, but songs shouldn’t be nice as that also insinuates that they are inoffensive and somewhat disposable.

Therein lays the problem. Opening the EP with such a belter of a song sets lofty expectations which the remainder of the tracks, while perfectly fine, don’t match. Niall Colfer is moving onwards and is still capable of knocking out a killer song, but the vital component to make you came back to the remainder of the EP  time and time again is missing. ‘Before the Night Goes’ is worth listening to but could have been so much more.