Bell X1 - The Great Defector

Clark Summers 24/05/2009

Rating: 3.5/5

The last time I reviewed a Bell X1 record (their previous long-player “Flock”) I was predicting big things for the Irish quartet and it seems I wasn't just spouting empty Nostradamus style bluster (for once). Already feted in their homeland, the band made new friends in America on the back of “Flock” earning slots on Conan O'Brien and Letterman a record deal with Yep Rock and airplay on One Tree Hill and Grey's Anatomy. The U.S. embrace of the band was not matched however in the U.K. where widespread indifference appeared to be the order of the day. Undaunted the band return with “The Great Defector” a punchy, joyous and catchy slice of pop rock that tips its cap in the knowing direction of Talking Heads circa “Remain In Light”. ”You're the chocolate at the end of my Cornetto,” intones Paul Noonan in a slightly giddy manner and this reviewer can't but help wonder if the time has come for Bell X1 to make a dent on the mainstream. If it doesn't happen this time out I suspect that sadly it's never going to happen.