26 September 2023

When The Bloom Has Left The Rose, Electrical Storms in Berlin, Karen Don’t Be Sad

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By CousteauX, Silent X Records 2021.

In the late 1990s Cousteau (without the X) burst onto the music scene in England with their debut self-titled, self-funded and self-produced album.

Three thousand copies were pressed and the album quickly sold out after receiving good reviews which led to the band signing to Chris Blackwell’s Palm Pictures label.

The decision was made to re-record the album and on release it became The Guardian Album of The Week and went on to sell 230,000 copies world-wide.

The lead single Last Good Day Of The Year has gone on to enjoy a life of its own featuring in films, TV commercials and documentaries.

At the heart of the band were two complimentary musicians, Irishman and lead singer Liam McKahey and former Canberran and multi-instrumentalist Davey Ray Moor.

Cousteau released two outstanding albums. Cousteau (1999) which includes Last Good Day Of The Year and Sirena (2002) which included the brilliant single Damn These Hungry Times, and then Davey Ray Moor left the band to pursue production work.

Liam McKahey took over the main writing role releasing another excellent album, Nova Scotia, in 2005 which was produced by U2s producer Ger McDonnel.

He then relocated to Canberra, Australia, where I met him.

While in Canberra Liam released two very good solo albums under the name Liam McKahey and The Bodies, Lonely Road (2009) and Black Vinyl Heart (2014)

In 2016 Liam and Davey reunited forming CousteauX and released a critically acclaimed self-titled album in 2017 on Silent X Records.

They started their new era with sold out gigs in Milan, London and Portugal.

Liam possesses one of the best voices that I’ve ever heard and I was fortunate enough to hear some early recordings of some of his new songs from CousteauX’s upcoming album Stray Gods which is slated for release this year.

So far three singles have been releasedWhen The Bloom Has Left The Rose,Electrical Storms in Berlin and a cover of Miley Cyrus’ Karen Don’t Be Sad.

Each of these songs presents CousteauX at their very best. Liam’s outstanding vocal is perfectly balanced by Davey’s wonderful and emotive instrumentation and production.

There’s a fantastic video of When The Bloom Has Left The Rose on YouTube along with clips of some of their earlier work. Look them up and give these three singles a listen.

I’ll review the entire album when it becomes available.

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