When one thinks of hard rock/heavy metal, the city of Cork, Ireland would probably not be on any fan of that genre’s radar. However, with the release of the self-titled EP from Inhale The Fall, this could cause many a rocker to break out the map for a quick geography lesson.
Inhale The Fall has an interesting arrangement for a band—a female lead vocalist and bass player, and male guitarists and a drummer. The founders are guitarist Pavol Rosa and bassist Eibhlin Palfrey, who recruited singer Jenny O’ Keeffe from the local music scene. The newest members are drummer Barry Wilson and guitarist Alex Hornibrook, who was brought onboard to augment the band’s live sound.
Rosa is a master at coaxing heavy tones and ethereal effects from his Telecaster, which is a guitar more associated with country music than hard rock. Fearless starts heavy, then quickly turns very mellow, with drums, bass and a very light clean-tone chorus-effect guitar, before getting harder again with a meandering instrumental bridge.
Under Your Skin starts with a toe-tapping, irresistible, funky hard-driving guitar & bass groove. The chorus is O’Keefe’s chance to shine, showcasing her powerful vocal range. All Apologies (no, not a cover of the Nirvana song) again shows Rosa’s love of music technology, with a haunting, effects-laden arpeggio guitar which quickly turns to power chording. Soft verse, loud chorus…that formula has been successfully used in countless rock songs, and it works here, too.
The last song on the EP is a cover, though not many people outside of the UK are likely to know that. Weak was a regional hit in 1996 for the British band Skunk Anasie. The original is a powerful tune, but Inhale The Fall’s version is kicked up considerably, and is much more dramatic. This is O’Keefe’s signature song—she really proves she is to be regarded as one of the elite female vocalists in hard rock music. On a related note, the video to this song is a must-see. Produced by a local production company in Cork, it is a highly impressive work that could easily hold its own any major label effort.
Inhale The Fall are currently working on a full-length album. If this EP is just a teaser of what they are capable of, there’s a lot to look forward to.
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