The Irish music scene has a propensity to have a 'next big thing' band on the go at all times and right now Raglans are the current holders of that honour. One listen to their self-titled debut will tell you exactly why, too. Their brand of catchy, no frills, rock & roll has already proved a hit with live audiences on tour with the likes of The Strypes, themselves alumni of the 'next big thing' tag. But can this giddy sense of expectancy be transplanted to a record? Not entirely, it would seem. The upbeat nature of their music, so vibrant in a live setting, comes across as a little too shiny when recorded and ultimately the recording techniques employed here robs some of the songs of the raw energy which make them so compelling in a live setting. The album definitely has its highlights, though. 'The Man From Glasgow' harnesses the band's strengths accurately, while 'Digging Holes', 'Fake Blood' and 'Natives' are readymade summer festival hits. Raglans have all the ingredients to be great, they just might need a little more time in the oven.
Review by John Balfe | THREE STARS