If 90’s guitar-pop is your thing; then Limerick’s Senakah may well be a new favourite of yours. The four-piece return with a softer version of their melodic grunge on new album ‘Human Relations’, having had previous success with ‘Clarity’ – an Irish top twenty hit from their debut album ‘Sweeter Than Bourbon.’
Senakah produce a typically Irish pop-rock sound, and teamed with producer Niall Hogan (Cranberries guitarist), it’s a fitting match; or so it may seem.
The album is due for release on Friday, May 17th and opener Frontline is a contemporary reintroduction to the band. The song has real similarities to chart-toppers Two Door Cinema Club, a neat rhythm and beat, and an inviting guitar drenched in delay gives the mix a modern feel, and yet the vocals of Rob Hope draw relevance to the days of Pearl Jam. It’s clear the Seattle rockers have had an influence on Senakah’s songwriting, so much so that the Limerick foursome decided to tour north America in 2008 and their music was greeted with a warm welcome.
Having falsely assumed the bands’ modernisation, Ugly drags along the arrival of bland 90’s pseudo-rock bearing no relevance or spine. The song blindly navigates itself until a brief moment of clarity when guitarist Brendan O Gorman illustrates great skill with an unlikely solo.
While listening to what mostly can be described as filler, it becomes increasingly apparent how an album lacking in direction will inevitably force the hand of the consumer to favour newer formats of music consumption. In a time where streaming is on the increase, it has become clear that many music listeners will no longer sift through a full length record, searching for the odd hit.
Remarkably, as if oil and water were now miscible, title track Human Relations, Syncing and the Pumpkins-esque Shelter, perk the ears and generate a sense of well-being. The latter is a heavier sound which ideally suits the four-piece and one they may well explore further. Without any doubt theses are the only tracks worthy of text on the album.
The album adjourns with Start Again, a strong, euphoric festival filler which could easily have led the album out front. Perhaps Senakah can draw advice from the title and recapitulate.
While moments of rapture appear on ‘Human Relations,’ it is much like an expensive and disappointing meal out; the starter was good but too small, the main was over cooked and difficult to swallow, while the desert was a delight and sweetened the mood. Decide for yourself. There’s your tip.