Better known as lead guitarist and frontman for legendary Irish band Ash, Tim Wheeler‘s debut solo offering sees the songwriter deal with the weighty topic of his father’s death. With Wheeler’s main band due to deliver a new album later on this year, this solo effort offers Tim the chance to deliver something a bit different from what we’ve come to expect from his output with Ash.
The result is an album filled with lush instrumentation and a more tender, softer touch than the punch of Ash’s albums. Snow In Nara is a gentle instrumental number with a delicate guitar carrying the sweet melody. Sweeping string sections carry the powerful Do You Ever Think Of Me? and bolster album highlight Vigil, and both tunes showcase Wheeler’s ability to craft wonderfully catchy melodies. The acoustic First Signs Of Spring is even more intimate and delicate and the bare arrangement allows for a pleasant contrast with the more fuller sounding tracks
The epic Medicine serves as the centrepiece of the record, standing at ten minutes long, and is a bit of a strange track. It reinvents itself numerous times, and could be split up into a least three separate tracks. It’s just as good as everything else on the record, but smushing it altogether into one song doesn’t really benefit the song or the album. The lyrics are simple and direct, borderline plain at times, but there is a genuine sincerity there, and the album delivers a very strong emotional kick.
‘Lost Domain’ is as much about the celebration of life as it is about the tragedy of death, and Wheeler expresses all this and more within the confines of the album. At the same he creates a well-rounded sound that serves not only as a stop-gap until the next Ash album, but as a quality work in its own right.