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Mind the Gap
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  • Personnel: Colm O Snodaigh (vocals, flute, tin whistle, harmonica, saxophone); Rossa O Snodaigh (Spanish guitar, bouzouki, charango, mandolin, tin whistle, panpipes, didjeridu, trombone, percussion); Dee Armstrong (fiddle, viola, bodhran); Eoin Dillon (Uilleann pipe).
  • It took three years, but this is the follow-up to Kila's 1992 debut, Handel's Fantasy. While that album incorporated a traditionally based style of playing, this release implements more modern techniques. With more prominent use of electric guitar and world rhythms, Mind the Gap is the logical extension of "Four Ages of Man" from their previous record, a song whose style foretold of changes to come. "F?ach" is a rhythm and chanting piece from percussionist Ronan O'Snodaigh, followed by "Finnegan," a haunting fiddle piece by Dee Armstrong which segues nicely into the instrumental Celtic rocker "Odlums' Wild Oats," which features Colm O'Snodaigh on flute and an underlying Eno-esque guitar line from Eoin O'Brien. "Tatiana" is a bluesy acoustic number performed on traditional Irish instruments, save for the electric bass, and "5:30" begins like a hard-rocking mid-'70s Steeleye Span or Horslips, only to be interposed by some quirky brass in the final minute, creating an unconventional yet cool conclusion to the tune. Largely instrumental, Kila keeps this album interesting with a wide variety of instruments (uilleann pipes, fiddles, whistles, percussion) coupled with creative arrangements. "Ezekiel" is an up-tempo worldbeat number featuring a funky bass from Ed Kelly and impressive interplay between flutist O'Snodaigh and low whistler Rossa O'Snodaigh. The album concludes with another rocking piece, "Islandbridge," which oddly includes no electric guitar or conventional drums; the instrumental punch is provided by the Irish pipes, acoustic guitar, and fiddle, proving that Celtic rock can emanate from virtually all acoustic instruments. ~ Dave Sleger
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