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Bloodless Coup
Bell X1 Bloodless Coup
Released 1 April 2011
Producer Rob Kirwan
Label BellyUp
Length 55:08
Genre Alternative
Website www.bellx1.com

Some bands make music that grabs you immediately and sticks in your head, staying there until long after you’re sick of it. Bloodless Coup –the fifth album form Kildare band Bell X1– is the exact opposite of this. It may take you a few listens to get into it, but once you do it is well worth it.

Bloodless Coup sees Bell X1 take on a far more electronic sound, which can seem like a bit of a put off at first, but for the most part it actually works quite well. The album is full of unconventional beats and quirky, off-beat sounds and if anything this works perfectly alongside Paul Noonan’s brilliantly quirky, off-beat lyrics.

If 'The Great Defector' got stuck in your head, and you were humming "you’re the chocolate at the end of my Cornetto" to yourself for a few months, then 'Velcro' (the first single off Bloodless Coup) is sure to catch you. Firstly it’s a better song, with wonderfully off the wall lyrics like: "watching a six-year-old on YouTube/ playing drums to Billie Jean" not to mention a catchy, electro tinged indie sound.

And 'Velcro' is far from the best song, the album doesn’t really kick in with great songs until halfway through. Particularly the mellow acoustic tracks (with just a bit of an electro edge to them) like 'Built to Last', and 'The Trailing Skirts of God'. Both come across dreamy and peaceful, but are oddly catchy, and get better each time you listen.

It is easy to just compare Bell X1’s new electronic sound with Radiohead, but in many ways Bloodless Coup is like a Radiohead album. It doesn’t really have any simple radio-friendly pop songs. Instead Bell X1 has created a genuine listening experience. The ten tracks on Bloodless Coup just wash over you. The album does take a while to get into, but once you do you will keep coming back to it again and again.

- Bernard O’Rourke