The Coronas have enjoyed immense popularity and success in Ireland. Sell out shows in The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Live at the Marquee and three consecutive dates in the Olympia this December leave that very much undisputed.
Their debut album ‘Heroes or Ghosts’ turned 10 this year and, since its release, they have achieved fame among teens and thirties alike – quite unusual and impressive for a pop-rock band, given other favourites who have dropped off the radar over the years. Very few can boast a 10 year career to the strength of The Coronas.
‘Trust The Wire’ marks their fifth studio album and another collaboration with Eliot James (Two Door Cinema Club, Kaiser Chiefs). For a band who had established their pop-rock, four-piece sound in the most traditional way possible, they have made a small attempt to change direction this time around, however it seems as though the lads got cold feet and couldn’t commit entirely, making this album still very predictable.
There’s a slight change in the instrumentation and most noticeably, Danny’s vocals are not the stand-out key feature above all else on each track. Whether this works in their favour or not is debatable. It gives the album a sort of echo and makes the record brooding and melancholic.
We Couldn’t Fake It and Give Me A Minute, both reportedly about O’Reilly’s self-doubt in performing and songwriting, are the lead singles from the album and both reflect this sound. The builds from both guitars and piano are weak and the vocals are lacking something that was there before.
Lyrically, it’s all just a bit sad – not in an emotive and poetic way like some of their earlier material, but more in a defeated way. “My everything looks so much nicer with you in it” being the strongest lyric on the album. The lads took a hard knock being dropped from Universal after ‘Long Way Home’ and that appears to to have had quite an impact on the album’s mood.
Not What You Know finally breaks things up a bit and touches on the more folksy sound of the traditional Irish music that runs very strongly through the band’s veins. Coupled with Look At All The Lovers, the album finishes on a higher note than expected.
O’Reilly claims “[the album is] very electronic, chilled and mature, written from a place of calm. I think you can sense the change lyrically, too.” I mean, you could say that, or you could say it’s flat, bland and safe. Fans probably won’t be too disappointed as there’s still one or two sing-a-long tracks that will get enough air time to achieve recognition but the band will have to heavily rely on earlier material to carry a show. It’s certainly not a strong bite back at Universal. ‘Trust The Wire’ goes by in a blur, and after listening to it, you’ll find yourself wondering if you’d really listened to it at all.