Bell X1
Music In Mouth


uniper were a band who hailed from Ireland in the mid-to-late 90s, and featured Damien Rice on vocals. Rice left when contractual wrangles or something led to recording delays, and, after performing at Glastonbury this year, is now quite famous. Probably only because David Gray was busy, or something... Anyway, the rest of Juniper decided to carry on without old Damien, and re-christened themselves Bell X1, after the first plane to break the sound barrier, or something. Unfortunately Bell X1 the band aren’t even in danger of breaking my attention because they’re very dull. Or something.

ARGH! This sounds like U2 gone, like Coldplay without the public school education, like Radiohead circa The Bends only without any ideas or tunes or a wicked producer, like Crowded House if they were embarrassed of pop music. Guitars are strummed and words are sung and one song is about an Irish DJ who died or something, and the lyrics are quite touching in a really pedestrian way, and there’s a banjo at times, and sometimes there’s a touch of filtersweep in the production just to remind us that this was recorded in the mid 90s...

There’s a song called “Tongue” that’s co-written by Damien Rice. He might sing on it too only I can’t tell because I don’t know what he sounds like. Anyway, “Tongue” is quite good, or would be if I’d never heard The Verve or Radiohead do this emotive, grandiose, brooding modern rock thing years ago and much better too. There’s a tune called “Daybreak” which would be alright if I’d never heard “Sunrise” by Pulp, which similarly starts off really small only actually does manage to explode in light and warmth and make you happy in a magnificent, what-a-piece-of-dust-I-am-upon-this-quintessence way, like a real sunrise. But “Daybreak” doesn’t, though the guys in the band probably reckoned that was what they were doing. There’s a tune called “West Of Her Spine” which would be quite country if I’d never heard Johnny Cash or Gillian Welch, and would be quite sexy if I’d never had sex. There’s a tune called “White Water Song” which, like every song with the word ‘song’ in its title, thinks of itself as really important, and would really rock my world if I was an accountant and wore a suit to work and had never heard, say, any fucking rock music. And there’s a tune called “Eve, The Apple Of My Eye” which has got an organ-drenched chorus so perfectly formed with melancholy in mind (“can’t you see the grass is greener where it rains” - not a song about hydroponics, kids) that it almost makes me feel sick. Oh, and that sounds like that “you’ll live / you’ll learn” thing Alanis Morrissette did years ago.

God knows how I’ve squeezed 472 words out of this record.

Reviewed by: Nick Southall

Reviewed on: 2003-09-01

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Posted 06/01/2004 - 06:26:07 AM by fitzerfan:
 that is, with out doubt, the laziest most pathetic excuse for a review i have ever come across. your lack of research and outright ignorance is made all the more laughable by the absolute arrogance of your final statement. how did you squeeze out this particular turd of words? you are so anally retentive im shocked that anything came out at all. MUPPET!
Posted 06/01/2004 - 04:43:49 PM by amy234:
 i agree....bellx1 are an amazing band-ignore this pathetic hungover, i haven't actually listened to the album, excuse for a reveiw! "one song is about Irish DJ who died or something" i've never wanted to punch someone soo much in my life..... its funny how they've slated EVERY irish artist paddy casey bell x1 and the frames i smell a rat...
Posted 06/03/2004 - 03:37:55 AM by NickSouthall:
 I think You'll find The Frames actually received a very positive review, as did Gemma Hayes, and Josh Ritter's was favourable as well. Accusations of anti-Irish sentiment are completely unfounded; accusations of anti-stodgy, forgettable rock music sentiment are entirely justified, however.
Posted 06/05/2004 - 06:44:00 PM by amy234:
 josh ritters american...not irish heres to the irish music scene "forgettable rock music sentiment are entirely justified, however." do me a favour listen to the following irish ROCK bands berkeley-current album...hope prayers and bubblegum or the revs-current album...suck
Posted 06/07/2004 - 08:38:59 AM by NickSouthall:
 My mistake; in one of the barrage of three emails I had about this review, someone else complained that we'd been nasty about Josh Ritter too, when we hadn't been. I still stand by my opinion that Bell X1 are useless.
Posted 06/15/2004 - 10:40:47 AM by ihwright:
 Even if its 4.7 album (which I don't think it is) thats a 2.7 review, or something. But where were the "WHAT-everssss"? Or did you just think that typing "imagine me making a 'W' with my hands" would be taking it too far? If you can't be arsed to look into the background of a band properly then don't do it at all and focus on the record as an entity that exists in a universe of its own, all this review does is highlight how little research you actually did. And if you're going to take issue with Eve for ripping something off you’d be far better served drawing comparisons to "I know its over" by The Smiths or "Killer Cars" by Radiohead or "Love Hurts" by a ton of people seeing as they're all got almost the same chord sequence. I can understand you not liking it and giving it a bad review, but thats just a bad review, although the line about you having never had sex was pretty funny.
Posted 06/15/2004 - 11:34:13 AM by Malone:
 Are you for real? Someone gave YOU a job as a journalist? I may be biased as a fan of Bell X1 and Damien Rice but that piece was atrocious. Fair enough if you don't like the album, you are reviewing it, but you write with the eloquence of a sock.
Posted 06/22/2004 - 04:26:06 AM by NickSouthall:
 I'm more than happy to admit that this is a poor review even by my miserable standards (check the archives, you'll LOVE my take on Britney Spears), but it's a poor record and didn't deserve time, attention or research (in my opinion); that's the point. The other point to consider is that promos come in unsolicted all the time; we're an independant, web-based operation and we all work full-time jobs as well as doing this (apart from the guy's who are still studying, lucky sods); we do this because by & large we love music. If a record doens't grab attention quickly then it's going to get short shrift and I'm afraid that's just the way it is.
Posted 06/23/2004 - 02:38:26 PM by amy234:
 oh go "die or something"
Posted 06/24/2004 - 05:59:18 AM by NickSouthall:
 That's very mature of you. It's nice to know that Bell X1 fans are all erudite, wise creatures with a sense of perspective.
Posted 06/26/2004 - 04:13:46 PM by amy234:
 oh the Irony....
Posted 07/12/2004 - 09:11:04 AM by hobbes:
 I gotta say I haven't laughed out loud so much in quite a while. The funniest piece of writing in a long time. I'm not sure if that was your intention or not but you pulled it off in grand style. Granted it could not really be called a review as such - no objectivity, no knowledge or interest in the subject and a barely concealed loathing of your position in the music food chain - but as a piece of comedy writing it is priceless. However, as I sit in praise of your missive I must urge caution that you do not become typecast as the archetypal muso journo... you know the ones - people who have no discernible talent of their own so they become journalists and write about others who have. Or even worse those also who lack talent and personality but somehow progress to becoming reviewers. But that's obviously not you. You're a funny guy.
Posted 11/08/2004 - 06:23:01 AM by whatever:
 Nicholas, Nicholas! I'm Irish. I hate the Frames. I hate Paddy Casey. I hate pretentious assholes who abide in ladderless ivory towers. On the other hand I understand that taste is a very personal entity. I just stumbled across this site and felt compelled to convey my view. I’m pretty disappointed with a review like that, especially of an album that I find so emotive. Unfortunately I don’t think you gave the album the open mind it. You missed out. Tone down the cynicism. It must be really shit to be so pessimistic.
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