Bell X1

Flock | Yep Roc
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 20, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
Remember when Snow Patrol were huge in the UK but only a college-radio curio here? The four guys in Bell X1 do: in their native Ireland they’re chart-topping, platinum-selling rock stars, yet Flock, their third full-length, is the first to get released in the States. So you figure Snow Patrol’s late-breaking success may have inspired the folks at Yep Roc to try building an American fan base for Bell X1. On Flock (which has been out in Ireland since 2005), Paul Noonan works the same breathy sensitive-dude persona as Gary Lightbody, and his bandmates shine up standard-issue indie-group jangle pop in a way that recalls the better moments on Snow Patrol’s Final Straw and Eyes Open — with its twinkling guitars and hopeful-sounding chorus, “Natalie” could totally end up becoming Bell X1’s “Chasing Cars.” On occasion, Noonan sets his sights on highbrow quarry, as in “Reacharound,” which could pass for some unreleased Radiohead circa The Bends. But he’s at his best when he’s emphasizing accessibility over artiness.

Bell X1 | T.T. the Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge | March 14 | 617.492.BEAR
Related: On the Racks: May 9, 2006, Live Earth 2007, As Tall As Lions, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Radiohead, Snow Patrol, Gary Lightbody
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