Fionn Regan is a man who does not like his music being pigeon-holed. Fans who enjoyed the folk flavours of debut The End of History would have been surprised by the rock and roll of follow-up The Shadow of an Empire before he returned to his acoustic roots on 100 Acres of Sycamore.
It left many wondering what to expect on his fourth record, The Bunkhouse Vol 1: Anchor Black Tattoo but fear not because his approach here is very much back to basics. Recorded at home using a four track and a single microphone, it has a lo-fi stripped-back feel throughout. With this approach there is nothing to hide behind and as such it really shows off Regan’s skills as vocalist, guitar player and songwriter.
Songs like ‘67 Blackout’ have slightly jaunty guitar rhythms disguising more sinister lyrics in a style perhaps reminiscent of Elliott Smith. ‘Clara to Callery’ shows off Regan’s finger picking skills, while ‘Mizzen to Mallin’ is an evocative song comparing the situation in Ireland to a stormy sea.
At under half an hour this is a very short album but let’s hope Volume 2 isn’t too far away. Assuming, of course, that Regan doesn’t decide to do something completely different the next time.
Words: Eala McAlister