Alternative music reviews

October 17, 2005

The Eighteenth Day Of May

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Formed – funnily enough – during the month of May, this modern folk group are pleasant to the extreme, this is wistful music to chill out to and an autumn day. With a background of performing traditional English folk songs, The Eighteenth Day Of May blend West Coast pop (think of timeless groups like The Byrds) with psychedelic loveliness. Comprising of six members and playing a diverse range of instruments (everything from flute, harmonica, mandolin to the autoharp) you cannot accuse The Eighteenth Day Of May of being limited in the instrument department. The songs though are fairly limited, not much variation is offered throughout their self titled album, sometimes it gets slower paced with Allison Brice singing engaging trad-folk with twangy guitars as on ‘Lady Margaret’. Other times, a song like ‘Sir Casey Jones’ is steeped in good old fashioned values – the sort of song Cameron Crowe would use to soundtrack his movies.

Over its 47 minute duration I’m getting languid – just let the songs soak in and don’t expect too much. If you dig relaxing and undemanding folk, then The Eighteenth Day Of May are very good in their chosen field. I just cannot get into the album; there are no strong melodies to grab onto, the closest being ‘The Highest Tree’ which at least has some liveliness. This album will be a matter of taste – some people will find plenty to adore, but the music just doesn’t click with me.

Review by Nick Collings

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