THE STAR - 8 June 2007
**** (4 Stars)

The title of the Pale’s first album in donkey’s years may sound a tad somber, but rest assured the the contents are mor sunken treasure than washed-up wreckage. The lads-now reduced to a duo-have a devoted following, built up since they formed in 1990.The long awaited comeback proves more than worthy to their legacy and continues their love of “ethnic fusion” and the sounds of ska. This is a more diverse Pale however with stylistic leaps throughout, from the beautiful Joan of Arc on Broadway to uplifting single Elizabeth in Rags. It’s good to have them back, even if they never did really go away.
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HOT PRESS - May 2007
Jackie Hayden

Back in the 1990s, the Pale were being hailed as Ireland’s next big thing, adored for their quirky blend of European rhythms, mandolins, a drum machine, bald heads, a bag of esoteric tunes and Matthew Devereux’s distinctive vocals. Frustrated by record company woes, among other things, it didn’t last and they called it a day. Now, with an album deal under their belts, the core twosome of Devereux and Shane Wearon are back in earnest, supported by a revolving line up that includes guitar maestro Colm Quearney. Regular jaunts to the Balkanshave turned them on further to the ethnic music of the region, while the band also continue their love affair with ska and reggae. The trailer single “Elizabeth in Rags” is a bit od a Dexy’s-style knees-up, driven by Wearon’s mandolin and it works well, while the disturbing “Steadfast Captain” would fit snugly in the Leonard Cohen canon (and that’s meant as a big compliment). Musically, its impressively diverse. There’s the lilting reggae of the the title track, a tune called “Church of Bones” which is as bluegrass as Kentucky, while the sumptuous “Joan of Arc on Broadway” is achingly beautiful in a sultry Brechtian lind of way. Meanwhile, there’s a hint of foreboding about t”The Serpent Song”, in which Devereux waxes lyrical about not going into the forest and staying out “from under those dark canopes”. While there’s nothing likely to eclipse the might of “Butterfly” or “Dogs with no Tails”, there’s a sturdinss to the new material that wasn’t as evident first time around. File under Welcome Back.

THE METRO - 25th May 2007
**** (4 Stars)
Eamon de Paor.

As the cult duo behind early ‘90’s “Butterfly” and “Dogs with no Tails”, cult duo Matthew Devereux and Shane Wearon have always walked the line between quirky popsters and inane novelty group.Now they are back with a new album and a new, more sophisticated sound. Devereux , in particular seems, seems to have renounced the role of zany entertainer, emerging as a singer of unexpected depth and nuance. This is clear from the single “Elizabeth in Rags”, a brisk folk tune, that sees Wearon thinking his mandolin as if it were a heavy metal guitar and Devereux delivering a stark vocal. Later they slow the tempo-The New Resistance is the siort of wrenching torch song you may have believed the Pale entirely incapable of writing. As comebacks go then, The Contents of a Shipwreck is a constant, delightful surprise.


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