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REVIEW - Dean And Chapter - 'Time's Up'

Following on from 2019's 'Spiritual Suicide' EP and last year's stand-alone single 'Nowhere', Newry, County Down's singer-songwriter Dean Wright is back with a hard-hitting full album containing eleven emotive tracks that reflects a difficult time for Dean over the last year to eighteen months. All eleven tracks are well-crafted and well-realised songs that emphasise the great way Dean has with a turn of phrase and nifty chord sequence.

Ably supported by Jason Varley on bass and Padraic Farrelly on drums, the music is touched by the early 80s post-punk and new wave scene with flashes of Echo And The Bunnymen, the Psychedelic Furs, early Cure and to my mind, most noticeably the 80s work of Justin Sullivan and New Model Army. Lyrically, most of the tracks have a (perhaps understandably) downbeat tone but are affecting and emotive nonetheless, both coaxed and spat out by Dean's rasping vocals.

After three fine opening tracks - the sparky 'Devil May Care', 'Calling You' with its lush choruses and 'Come Undone', the album reaches its peak with four fabulous tracks - the brooding, menacing 'Eye On You' (with it's yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, what do you think of that refrain'?) and 'Hail' - with it's fine guitarwork - surrounded by driving rockers 'Coven Dance' and 'Gone' (the hardest hitting track on the album). The final four tracks that bring the album to a close are no slouches either - the reflective 'I Hope So' and 'Shadows', the impossibly catchy 'You Drive Me Crazy' and the closing track - the chilling 'Mad, Bad' Dangerous And Damned', with its denouement of death, deliverance and judgement.

'Time's Up' is a powerful, emotive album with fine playing and excellent songwriting that anybody with an interest in punky singer-songwriting and alternative guitar rock would do well to check out. A fine album.

'Time's Up' is available on all the major digital sites.

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