Release Date: Jul 9, 2013
Record label: Belly Up
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Irish ensemble Bell X1's sixth studio album, 2013's Chop Chop, is an atmospheric, languid, and deeply ruminative album. Once again centered around lead singer Paul Noonan, Chop Chop is a quieter affair than 2011's Bloodless Coup, which mixed electronic sounds with the band's anthemic guitar rock. Whereas that album brought to mind the more exuberant rock of fellow Irish band U2, Chop Chop has more in common with the intimate folk-rock of the band's onetime member Damien Rice.
Though active since 2000 and back with its sixth album, Chop Chop, I’d not heard much of Irish triumvirate Bell X1 before, so the temptation to read X1 as 11 put me in mind of cricket. Bell X1 in fact references an experimental supersonic plane, though the quirkily sinister man-beast characters on the new record’s cover are hardly suggestive of sound barriers being broken. Rather, that artwork prepares you for a quieter, whimsical look back on life in all its strange and funny ways.