2018-03-06 ALBUM REVIEW MARY’S LANE "Wild Unknown" (2018)

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Mary’s Lane “Wild Unknown”
Release date: February 16, 2018
Running time: 40:42, 11 tracks

Mary’s Lane is a 6 piece Irish-American rock band from Cleveland, Ohio. Patrick Mulloy (vocals, guitar), Michael Crawley 8 vocals, guitar), Mark Whalen (percussion), Matthew Sofranko (vocals, bass), Brent Hopper (vocals, lead guitar, mandolin, banjo) and Tessa Thistlethwaite have previously released one live album (“Live in Ohio”, 2011), one studio album (“See You next Time”, 2014), two EPs (“Power in a Tiny Bottle”, 2013 and “The Furey Session”, 2015) and one single (“I Once crossed an Ocean”, 2015). So, “Wild Unknown” is their second studio album.

Wild Unknown” consists of 11 songs that have been written by four band members: Patrick, Michael, Matthew and Brent. A traditional hornpipe and a traditional jig can be heard on a couple of tracks, but “Wild Unknown” is basically an album full of self-penned songs.

Patrick Mulloy has written four of the tracks. The opening number “Dead Man Walking” is an excellent upbeat number that reminds me of The Paperboys. “Petronilla” has a similar feel, with some Latin/Spanish echoes. “Smoke” and the closing number “Between the Darkness” would be a couple of Celtic pop songs.

The songs written by Michael Crawley are track no. 2 and track no. 8. Both cuts are probably the most “American” numbers on “Wild Unknown“. “Rain on my Parade” is a bluesy number while “Box of Roses” is a country song.

Bassist Matthew Sofranko has written 2 songs too. “Last Gift” is one of the highlights. The songs kicks off slowly with mandolin and later turns into a fiddle and mandolin led fast-paced number à la early Flogging Molly. The other song written by Matthew is “Whiskeytown”.

Finally, three songs have been written by Brent Hopper. “Road less Traveled/Harvest Home” is not a set of tunes, but an amazing song that features “Harvest Home” or “Cork Hornpipe”, as The Dubliners called it on their albums. “Another Pint” is at my top3 together with “Dead Man Walking” and “Last Gift”. Excellent drinking song, grab your pint and sing along! “Gypsy Dance/The Kesh Jig” is the only set of tunes on “Wild Unknown”. ”Gypsy’s Dance” is an interesting tune written by Brent that is followed by a polished version of “The Kesh” jig.

Track listing:

01 – Dead Man Walking 3:33
02 – Rain on My Parade 3:42
03 – Petronilla 4:52
04 – Last Gift 4:04
05 – Road Less Traveled / Harvest Home 3:10
06 – Smoke 4:11
07 – Another Round 2:17
08 – Box of Roses 4:09
09 – Whiskeytown 3:43
10 – Gypsys Dance / The Kesh Jig 2:46
11 – Between the Darkness & the Light 4:09

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Review by Kinksmarkham

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