single review ~ the sass ~ 'siobhan'

The Sass are a band underpinned by tragedy and defined by infectious and uplifting melodies. A timeless and unfortunate combination which has blighted a group otherwise destined for recognition far beyond these shores since their inception more than five years ago. Formed by frontman Colm Donnelly, The Sass's early ear for melody and uplifting folktinged rock and roll gained them many admirers and spawned the release of several acclaimed singles. Songs such as 'Jukebox', 'Belfast' and the fantastic 'Get Around' sparked rumors of a Sass album, with a relentless touring schedule driving their claims to local heroism. Sadly The Sass bandwagon came to an unexpected and devastating halt after the loss of lead guitarist Brian McGivern last year, who's shimmering solos and resplendent creativity gave many of their tracks a distinctive edge. Now back with new single 'Siobhan', Donnelly and his regrouped men have came out fighting, desperate to prove that one of the countries most beloved cult outfits can continue to grow as they might have done...

Over the years songwriter Colm Donnelly's ability to paint pictures through his lyricism has both captivated and inspired. Wearing his heart on his sleeve at all times, the singer's ability to accurately tackle controversial issues, (such as cultural identity in a violence soaked past - IE 'Belfast') before switching to the working class freedom of modern youth ('Get Around' etc) has proved to be a rare and most promising accolade for the band. Here, we see the lighter side of Donnelly's writing, as he tells the story of one Belfast natives long suffering girlfriend who finally has enough and kicks him out of the house. Wrapped in a sweeping and emotive vocal, 'Siobhan' is a pile-driving anthem of different breed to their previous work, yet with all the infectious rhythms and singalong wonder. It's arms around your best friend and singing at the top of your lungs stuff, in many ways a perfect representation of the city The Sass have embraced so much. We even hear a piece of brilliance amongst the slowed regret of the middle eighth, as 'She says she wont let me in ever again..." is countered by a gently spoken Belfast drawl of 'and I that right aye?". Showing American pop-starlet Taylor Swift how the spoken word interlude is really done.

Free flowing and beautifully composed, for all 'Siobhan's tongue and cheek bravado, there are subtle pieces of brilliance scattered throughout that other doom-laden, tales of romantic woe would do well to learn from. Everything from the fist clenching unity of the chorus ( "Come on Siobhan, open the door, I'm gonna kick it in!") to the foot-stomping lead riff that percolates through the track, bursts with an attention to detail only found through a religious dedication to the cause.  Never one for taking themselves too seriously, the accompanying music video also shines a further light on the aggrieved Siobhan (brilliantly portrayed by Niki Alexander-McConville) and her carefree lover ending with the hilarious climax of him cradling his smashed guitar in their back-garden. "You fucking psycho!"

With the release of 'Siobhan', the rallying calls for another Sass EP will only grow louder and never has such a dedication been so richly deserved.

Taylor Johnson

If you like ~ Lloyd Cole & the Commotions | Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers | The Kooks ~ You'll love The Sass.

Keep up to date with all official Sass news on the links below...


& watch the official music video here...

A still from the new music video showing The Sass Mark ii...

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