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Killian Ryan

Words Never Said Again

self-released


It was hard to pin the down the references that make this Omaha rock trio tick. Is it Morrissey? No, not acerbic enough. Okay, how 'bout R.E.M.? Not nearly as refined.

Maybe it's because I'm inundated with indie music, but I completely overlooked the obvious. Killian Ryan isn't trying to be indie -- that's not their bag. For references, look no further than classic lite rock. America? Perhaps… Poco? Getting closer, but there's no twang to their tunes. All right, how 'bout Alan Parsons Project? Bingo.

Parsons comes to mind mostly due to Kevin Ryan's vocals and how they're recorded -- with that over-produced, dreamy sheen to them. Strangely, there's almost no bottom to these tracks. The drums sound tinny, the bass is almost completely unrecognizable, blurring one song into the next. Those are real problems when you're stock and trade is easily-accessible FM lite rock.

What redeems this effort is that these guys know how to write a hook and drill it into your subconscious. But while each song is slightly different, by the time you get to track six, you'll think you've heard the same song three or four times.

The exceptions: "It Can't Be Me," is heavier and less dreamy -- a good thing. And "Hey," clearly the best track here, thanks to different rhythms, pace, dead-steady bass, and a cool guitar counter-melody. It's naturally stark, more intimate, more personal. It also is the most radio-accessible of the bunch. These two songs, along with the opening track, should have been released as an EP. They sum up where Killian Ryan is now and why this is a band to keep an eye on in the future.


back torevhead.gif (1924 bytes)   Posted April 19, 2003. Copyright 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Rating: No

Obligatory pull-quote: "...while each song is slightly different, by the time you get to track six, you'll think you've heard the same song three or four times."