BACK after a three-year hiatus, the Irish rockers sound like they have never been away on this 14th studio album.
Singer Andy Cairns has released two acoustic solo albums in the interim and though none of those new songs appear here, Helpless Still Lost shares the WB Yeats-influenced lyric “toil has left its mark” with 2013’s outstanding Bootstraps. Rich production brings out the melody which has always been central to even their darkest work – Still Hurts is perhaps their most accessible single since the Troublegum era – but bolsters it with a beefy sound throughout.
Long-time fans will not be disappointed. 8/10. PA