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Album #157: Sons of Southern Ulster – Sinners and Lost Souls

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Cavan, Republic of Ireland
  • Label: Self-released
  • Best Track: Fear My Scorn

As a Brit with Irish roots, I always get a bit narked when people use the terms ‘Ulster’ and ‘Northern Ireland’ interchangeably. Hailing from Cavan, one of the three Ulster counties there are not part of the UK, Sons of Southern Ulster seem to be making a point of this distinction in their very name.

Their second album Sinners and Lost Souls has just been released and is riding a growing wave of quality Irish post-punk, joining compatriots Fontaines D.C. and the Murder Capital in producing raw riffs backed up with poetic and socially charged lyrics.

Even more so than their aforementioned fellow countrymen, SOSU make spoken word a key part of their sound, leaning towards the caustic oration of The Fall at times, even if the fourth track being called ‘The Fall’ is surely just coincidence.

Opening track ‘Fear My Scorn’ is possibly the best example of a spitting, scything verse and a killer chorus working together. It’s a belter, and I’ve had it in my head all day. The bitter narratives continue with ‘They Say I Live in the Past’, while ‘For the Birds’ addresses the excitement of pub-going as it moves from childhood to legal drinker age.

I need more time to take in some of the lyrics, but I’m impressed by this album. In a burgeoning scene, it has an idiosyncrasy that, while not quite matching that of their Irish brethren Girl Band, is marked enough to make it stand out.

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