The Rising are a no-nonsense mainstream Americana-influenced trio from Belfast, and the release last month of their debut album, ‘Coming Home’, is a strong start for the band.

The production is clear and crisp, which perfectly suits this type of guitar oriented power-pop. This is evidenced by fast-paced opener Calling You with its strong chorus and economic soloing.  If this was 15 or 20 years ago (pre download era) this song would have been a big hit.

They then take it down a bit on the second song Break the Chains, a mid-paced, hard-rock number. There is no hiding place when you are a three piece band, but the vocals and musicianship on display are excellent throughout.

Right through ‘Coming Home’, there is sense that this is possibly an atypical sound to emerge from Northern Ireland in 2014.  The sound is much more reminiscent of current Nashville, or of 1990s roots-rock acts such as the Wallflowers or Counting Crows.  And we don’t mean that in a bad way.

The album’s single Still Coming Home To You is an obvious radio number, but is far from the only stand out track. Equally impressive are album closer Return to the Moon and Highway to the Lost and Found – a deceptively infectious number that would not be out of place on an early ZZ Top record.

The songs are strong enough to achieve a big live following, with choruses and tunes which aim for anthem status.  Perhaps the album lacks a killer ballad and thus falls slightly short of top-rating, but The Rising are definitely a band to watch.