Cherry Ghost - Beneath this Burning Shoreline

Chris Stanley 13/07/2010

Rating: 4/5

Throughout Manchester's history of music and bands we are constantly reminded of those who have shaped the city's appearance and atmosphere but also solidifying it against other cities who have done exactly the same, Seattle and Liverpool to name two. Like Liverpool, Manchester has become one of those cities who seem more like a tourist attraction rather then a centre of bubbling creativity and other worldly song writing. Consider current Manchester music scene which for years was plagued by Oasis style bands and then was furthered by the Arctic Monkeys who are not mancunian but their influence on Manchester's music is undeniable. This is an unfair depiction of Manchester music because its more diverse and vibrant then that despite having FAC51 acting as pedestal or mausoleum depending on your perspective and yet the city has still provided those bands of great depth and creativity, Doves, Elbow and Cherry Ghost.

Blistering through Manchester's and eventually the mainstream press Cherry Ghost's blend of accomplished song writing and recorded material landed them a Novello award, festival appearances to great acclaim, record of the week on Radio 1 plus a Jools Holland performance which had all those watching with their hairs standing on end and those nearby with a similar feel of awe despite not even hearing it. At the time it felt like they came from nowhere with songs mixing pop music, skiffle and those reaching those uplifting heights and pinnacles of heartbreak. Then they vanished, or seemed to, but they have returned with second album 'Beneath this Burning Shoreline' a vivid title that hints to the albums content.

Rarely are song titles descriptive and poetic, usually they are there to simply name the songs but with titles like 'Strays at the Ice Pond' and 'The Night they Buried Sadie Clay' its hard not to feel sympathy for Sadie Clay even before you hear the tune or her story. There is that sense of remorse and heartbreak that not only is encapsulated in the lyrics but Simon Aldred's emotive voice could crack stone with a simple hum. The song itself is a glorious yet mournful expression and depiction of death including the New Orleans funeral brass section which leads into a mariachi style outro, a wonderfully constructed and performed song.

Falling into the similar category of Doves and Elbow all three bands excel at their different directions but they do cross over in style, 'Black Fang' sounds like Guy Garvey is hastily patting himself down to see if he has lost something on the bus but its not theft its glorious. The song is the most immediate on the album which is why when its pounding drums hits your ears you start up quickly but the song does share similarities of Elbow at their most uplifting but without imitating them.

The talk of the difficult second album has existed since well forever but the reality is a with a general public whose listening mentality follows a single buying mind set so any album recorded during this time has to be astonishing to grab audiences' despite which number album it is. However Cherry Ghost no doubt know this but they have made an album with few obvious singles which crosses genres and themes providing the listener with an album that will feature heavily in the soundtrack to their lives.

Release Date: 05/07/10