A stoat is a small, furry weasel like creature that is impressively versatile and kind of endearing despite being a rodent. Stoat are also a three piece band from Dublin that have just released their second album. And yes, they are also endearing and versatile.
Try Not To Think About It spans ten tracks, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it sounds like something from a decade ago. There isn’t really new music around like this anymore and it’s oddly refreshing to listen to something that feels like your dad could have dug it out of the attic in a battered cassette case.
Stoat have been playing together since before the turn of the last millennium and it’s evident from their music. Instrumentally, they appear as a cohesive unit that complements each other rather than vying for the spotlight. It’s a trio of friends having the craic and it is discernible throughout the album.
Opening with ‘Trampolina’, it’s hard not to like Stoat from the get-go. It’s a song made for radio that tells a story encapsulated by the sentence: “you could do so much worse than me”.
It’s quite possible that Stoat have managed to create their very own genre of music. At times they are a calm and cool indie band but during tracks like ‘Hard Sums’ they flirt with Russian polka and almost sound like an entirely different band, if not for the recognisable vocal of Cormac Parle tying it all together.
The biggest issue that Stoat face here is that while the majority of the album is hugely enjoyable, some songs seem to be having an identity crisis and just don’t meld well with the others. ‘Dog King’ is a fun song featuring some frenetic tempo changes and a bewildering narrative but it along with ‘Hard Sums’ feel a little out of place among the other tracks.
At points, Try Not To Think About It can be overly vociferous and songs can feel juxtaposed awkwardly and diminish the flow of the album. However it’s enjoyable because while it is music, there is a social dialogue about real aspects of life weaved expertly into a style of music that usually doesn’t meld well with that type of delivery.
Try Not To Think About It isn’t an album that will break any new ground but it’s grand and is full of catchy hooks and enticing narratives. If poetry found it’s way into a indie band, it would probably come out sounding a bit like Stoat.