Album Review - Socks in the Frying Pan / Return of the Giant Sock Monsters...

An imaginative approach to marketing has given Socks in the Frying Pan a larger than life public persona. They do indeed get noticed, and their debut album in 2012 showed that as a trio they pack quite a musical punch, with their high energy traditional music. This recording is a continuation of that debut. Constantly striving for change is not always good, and here they build a solid repertoire with an eye on the touring circuit. This is Part 2 of their story, with twelve solid tracks, half of which are vocals. The band comprises brothers Shane and Fiachra Hayes on accordion and fiddle/banjo and Aodán Coyne on guitar and vocals.

Well produced and well played they have found a restrained and playful element within their music this time round; it’s not all helter skelter to the finishing line. There is a crispness to the arrangements with The Polka Set standing out. The customary stops and changes of tempo prevail and provide the energy they seek. Up Down and Around is an unusually slow piece for the Socks and shows them to be capable of some more refined moments of interaction. Aodán Coyne leads the charge on the vocals, and continues to grow with his expressive interpretational spirit very much alive and searching. The Lone Pilgrim and the unaccompanied When I’m Gone stands out as great vocal tracks and Rollin’ in my Sweet Baby’s Arms will be another crowd pleaser. They add a couple of self-compositions and come out of their second recording sounding pretty good. A recommended release for those who like some modern trad mixed with an equal portion of inventive vocal tracks.

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