The new Dom Martin album, released September 22, is called “Buried in the Hail.”
The album features the singles “Unhinged,” “Daylight I Will Find” and the new single “Belfast Blues.”
Dom admits that the new album is the first complete work that he’s recorded that he is 100% happy with and proud to release. Says Dom, “Buried In the Hail is the kind of album where the more you listen to it, the more you will get out of it.”
“It’s all about the music,” says Dom about the new single ‘Daylight I Will Find’. “Sweet and simple, really.” There’s no soft option for a good life. Life is full of challenges, and they’ll drive you insane if you let them. It doesn’t matter what it is. You must find your own way through it, and in one piece! Find your own daylight. We all have it! It’s you! Love yourself.”
We all agree with these sentiments and look forward to sharing our thoughts on the album with you. So, all aboard and on with the review. The album cover presents us with a skeletal tree in front of a cityscape. A spade lies next to a wall, and something (maybe a metal hand) is grasping through the snow covered ground. A bleak cover!
Dom Martin, picture by Jim Heal
ALBUM TRACK LISTING
1 – “Hello In There” opens the album with a short instrumental containing a few sounds of children laughing. It is a peaceful melody for a late summer day.
2 – “Daylight I Will Find” takes me into the blues, a slow beat and a solid groove. It is about a spoonful of sunlight that helps you through the grim times. This was one of the singles from the album, and I bet this one sounds great live.
3 – “Government” shows some wonderful guitar work; crisp acoustic and full of intent. Dom says of it, “It has a very Celtic feel to it. My Irish ghosts, influences, and banshees are howling the wind at my back.” The song has a sadness inside it—a weary feeling about the state of things, perhaps.
4 – “Belfast Blues.”
“I’m a Belfast native. I love the place and the people. Just about every family has lost blood on the streets here, yet it ’s still a great place to witness it. As we’d say, there’s some characters about, so there is! The song is about the days I spent playing pubs and clubs in Northern Ireland. Getting into fights, setting fires, getting robbed, getting drunk and beaten, and just generally misbehaving. Being an animal…”
It is my favourite on the album so far, and the new single. Full of pluck and energy, the instrumentation is top drawer here, simply done but with an infectious chugging rhythm that blends with those animal vocals. It has a great video with it too (see below).
5 – “Crazy” “It was written by Willie Nelson and made big by the beautiful Patsy Cline. As a cover song, I think I’ve done a pretty good alternative version that does hold a feeling of that crazy, deeper, burning love and the loss of it that makes us all a little… unhinged.”
I’m thinking that, personally, I have had enough crazy in my life! But this cover makes me want, maybe, a little more. That guitar break about a third of the way in is an absolute blast and worth the admission money!
6 – “Unhinged” veers toward rock territory, albeit dirty blues rock.
“AIN’T IT A SHAME?
They All Sound The Same
Gettin’ Stupid Prizes
For Playin’ Stupid Games
PLAYIN’ STUPID GAMES…” (lyrics Dom Martin)
This is another favourite of mine, a track about the falsehoods we so often find in society. I found a bit of funk in there too, which was interesting! It also has a cover of the bird of ill omen, the crow on the branch, which is maybe why I liked it as well; I have a soft spot for crows!
7 – “The Fall” starts with bird-song and plucks a few notes from the trees. This rather beautiful melody almost clashes with the pain in a vocal lament. It’s saying that we all need to be a bit nicer to each other, if we can’t then society falls.
8 – “Howlin” “I love the music of Howlin’ Wolf, and I wanted to pay my respects to the man. This one’s for you, Wolf! And this one certainly delivers, one of the faster numbers on the album.
9 – “Buried In The Hail,” “Going deep into your own mind can be dangerous. It can be difficult even to get to the dangerous part, you can get stuck in there. Your own locked room. I was stuck there for a while, but I got out, though I do go back from time to time. It’s about revisiting the horrors that I have encountered and the experiences I have lived through so far…”
And what we have is the title track for the album, deeply melancholic, a trip through the pain, yet with that image of the light always there at the end of the tunnel. The music seems to feel the pain, it discords and fits around the sounds of water, children, and a plucked guitar. I’m impressed with the song, but I never fully taken to it yet.
10 – “Lefty 2 Guns” Is the tale of the hitman who has buried certain bodies in the hail.It’s a slow, yet melodic, piece.
11 – “Laid To Rest,” The closing instrumental, is a “refresh” of some sort, to let go of the past, as there is no future in history. Laid to rest says that symbolically with its silence.
Standout Tracks: “Belfast Blues” and “Unhinged”
In summary, the hail is falling, and we may be buried six feet under or facing hell (God alone decides), but the music lifts us up. Where there is music, there is a melting of the snow and a vision of better times. The music here is enshrined in an older blues tradition, but infused with Irish/Celtic influence and for fans of Rory Gallagher and of that gritty vocal style this is and those soulful vocals, this album is a box of treasures on its own.
All Songs composed by Dom Martin except Crazy (Willie Nelson)
Dom Martin – Vocals, Guitar
Ben Graham – Bass Guitar & Double Bass
Jonny McIlroy – Drums
Recorded in Golden Egg Studios, Ireland
Mixed and produced by Chris O’Brien and Graham Murphy at The Production Suite, Dublin, Ireland;
Co-Produced by Dom Martin
Mastered by Richard Dowling at WAV Mastering, Limerick, Ireland
Artwork Concept – Dom Martin
Album Artwork – Magic Cabin Studios
Dom Martin is doing a UK tour, starting off at the Carlisle Blues Festival (where we intend to be!) Full information below.
DOM MARTIN – “BURIED IN THE HAIL”
AUTUMN 2023 ALBUM TOUR
TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM
Carlisle Blues/Rock Festival
Sunday 8 October 2023
The Cluny, Newcastle
Monday 9 October 2023
The Club@142, Poynton
Tuesday 10 October 2023
Marina Bar, Plymouth
Wednesday 11 October 2023
Chester Live Rooms
Thursday 12 October 2023
Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
Friday 13 October 2023
Saturday 14 October 2023
The Musician, Leicester
Sunday 15 October 2023
Tuesday 17 October 2023
The Bullingdon, Oxford
Wednesday 18 October 2023
Eel Pie Club, London
Thursday 19 October 2023
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Friday 20 October 2023
Arlington Arts, Newbury
Saturday 21 October 2023
Met Lounge, Peterborough
Sunday 22 October 2023
Red Arrow Club, Ramsgate
Tuesday 24 October 2023
John Peel Centre, Stowmarket
Wednesday 25 October 2023
Thursday 26 October 2023
Vicky Vaults, York
Friday 27 October 2023
Silsden Town Hall
Saturday 28 October 2023
The Caves, Edinburgh
Sunday 29 October 2023
Skylite Room, Warrenpoint
Saturday 4 November 2023
Thursday 9 November 2023
Friday 10 November 2023
Wainthrop Avenue, Cork
Saturday 11 November 2023
Roisin Dubh, Galway
Sunday 12 November 2023
The Empire, Belfast
Friday 17 November 2023
By Stevie Ritson
I hope you check out Dom Martin, and we have so much more in our magazine, from quizzes to features and reviews. Stay around a bit and explore!