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Rob Corcoran & The Necessary Evils Rob Corcoran & The Necessary Evils
Album: Inverse Alchemy
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 12

Hailing from Dublin and now a London resident, Rob Corcoran releases his album Inverse Alchemy. At first impressions, the album is well packaged and produced with a black and white photo of Corcoran presented on the front which sets the tone of this Alt-Country album.

Rob Corcoran and The Necessary Evils formed of Violinist Basia Bartz, Multi-instrumentalist Lyle Zimmerman, Cajon player Hjordis Moon-Badford, bassist Anna Robinson and Jamie Shaw on drums lead us into opener 'Downtime Waltz' in which Rob sings of a man who embraces the darkness in life ''I'm your downtime man, on your darkest night'' but is also a true friend or lover, setting the tone of this album superbly.

Throughout this album Rob's thick Dublin accent comes through apologetically and sincerely as songs 'Hurts Me Too', 'Black Hearted Man' show he's not afraid to show a softer and darker edge to his lyrics. Rob has definitely managed to master the elusive craft of writing dark and emotive love songs without sounding trite, cliche or needlessly self-indulgent.

Rob's influences are on his sleeve quite proudly, and have put him in good stead as Dylan and Cohen ring true throughout his lyrics and themes.

'Get To You' is a tale of refugees in flight which is written with utmost sincerity and isn't afraid of going into some detail of what refugees go through with paying people to cross borders, which there needs to be more songs out there shedding light on these themes.

'Four in the Morning' and 'Ringing that Bell' are the standout tracks on the album for me. The imagery in these songs as you listen to these songs are very vivid and you can feel quite lost in those songs. Just quality songwriting.

Closing waltz 'The Pub on the Hill' finishes the album well with a tale of ''lovers lost and absent friends'' and a story of a once great boozer which has gone downhill or as Rob puts it ''turned to s**t'. Something we can all relate to I'm sure.

This is a well crafted and well thought out album of Alt-Country and Folk which draws heavily on North American heavyweights such as Dylan, Cohen and Townes Van Zandt. Very recommended.

Johnny Campbell