Alpha Hall – Omens
Alpha Hall are from the same Hidden Shoal stable as Kramies and Summon The Birds. They’ve been described as a cross between The National and The Dirty Three. It’s not a bad description. There’s a certain understated Matt Berninger manner to the vocals, particularly on songs like ‘Salt‘ and ‘Trees’, while the manic violin playing is reminiscent of Warren Ellis in madcap mode, which, in fairness, is most of the time. But Alpha Hall deserve their own reference point not an amalgam of other people’s. Because Omens is a really impressive debut. The riffs can sometimes be big and the melodies are always mellifluous. And all the time there’s the background scraping of the violin to keep the sound slightly but nicely off-kilter. The result is that they sound like Alpha Hall and no-one else. And that’s the highest compliment of all. Check out Omens. It’s a good one.