Search - Horslips :: Aliens

Genres: Rock, Metal
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2008.


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CD Details

All Artists: Horslips
Title: Aliens
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Phantom Sound & Vision
Release Date: 2/5/2008
Album Type: Import
Genres: Rock, Metal
Style: Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1


Album Description
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2008.

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CD Reviews

Don't Pass This Up
El Kabong | 08/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Long the answer to a trivia question (to wit: name Ireland's first major rock band), Horslips have really been disgracefully obscured by time. After a slew of successful UK-only releases like 'The Tain', Horslips were groomed to take a bite of the sweetest plum, the American market, with this exquisitely-crafted gem. Unlike many foreign bands who tried to piggyback their local triumphs into international-draw status, these boys used the opportunity to take their playing and writing to a new level - loyalist Irish fans might protest, but Horslips' 'American albums' (this, THE MAN WHO BUILT AMERICA and SHORT STORIES TALL TALES) were their best work. ALIENS might be their finest hour altogether. The very best kind of concept album, one whose individual songs are strong enough to stand alone minus any conceptual framework but gain tremendous emotional power when listened to in sequence, ALIENS is a series of sketches based upon the famine-spurred emigration to America of countless hardpressed Irish families during the 1870's. These small, nuanced, evocative tales are told through music that stirs together Celtic folk, Johnny Fean's caustic rock guitar and some haunting, eldritch flutework. The various parts cohere into one flowing, unforgettable whole that surges into your soul on first listen, going places inside you that standard-issue pop and rock never could. Honestly, this is a magical record. The two studio albums that followed this are very good but not quite in its caliber; despite a sorta-hit with 'Man Who Built America', America never really took this band to its bosom, treating them as if they were Jethro Tull's farm team. Thus, finding this on CD has at times resemble a quest but now, thanks to Amazon, you can hear tunes like 'Wrath of the Rain', 'Stowaway' & 'Speed the Plough' - high-powered and ghost-haunted at the same time -and know, instantly, that your investment of time and money have been amply rewarded."
ALIENS among us / Denis Leary are you listening?
C. Legreid | Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawai'i | 04/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"ALIENS, an awesome album by Irish Rockers 'Horslips'slipped into the stream of public conciousness amidst the tumult of the mid 1970's (yes children, an entire century ago!), now the band has resurfaced on a number of rerelease albumns and yes ALIENS is worthy of attention. If you like fun kick of the heels, 'Hell' with it and dance, or Doneybrook, or fight type music, these Irish kids deliever. This is also an educational albumn capturing the vibrancy & force of the emigrant stream that built America. What is truly wonderful is that these guys actually wrote wonderful lyrics. Such songs as 'Stowaway' and 'Ghosts' touch the soul when read as well as heard, while 'The Wrath of The Rain' and 'Speed The Plow' wear well with repeated listening. But the true gem, in view of the success of comedian actor Denis Leary (see 'the Job' on Abc) is the song 'New York Wakes.' A song that will give insight to the stereotype of the fun loving tough living Irish bloke of tales older than two centuries. Terrific albumn. Buy It. A must have for any St. Patrick celebration. Aloha."
4 stars only by comparison with Tain, Book, Happy to Meet!
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 09/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hard to believe that the "Book of Invasions," a masterful and daring 1976 synthesis of prog with folk, preceded this, a sharp skip to the AOR mainstream of respectable rock and radio hits. It never broke through, but here the seeds of what would sprout on their next, more full-blown, LP "The Man Who Built America," are sown. This 1977 album shows the band a bit more trimmed and shorn, and the pressures of the industry's unsettledness as the punks and the posers sought to cash in at the expense of the AOR, MOR, prog, and hard-rock (now "classic radio") stalwarts of the previous 70s perhaps echo in the band's sartorial and sonic shifts.

This inevitably by comparison is their most Jethro Tull-like LP. As Tull by this state also found itself under assault, as the one-time innovators of a decade earlier were now regarded as its dinosaurs, they would return to reclaim their folk-rock crown with Songs from the Wood. Horslips, then, may have been shortfooted, for they at the same time were eager it seems to leap into the mainstream. Perhaps as with another band they once toured with, Steeleye Span, who around this time teamed with pop producer Mike Batt for their accessible hit LP All Around My Hat, so Horslips wished to leave behind the more arcane and mythical for an updated, slicker, and more aggressive sound that took its impetus from rock and not folk.

Judged against Tull & Steeleye, then, the decision of Horslips to seek what on their next AOR LP, TMWBA, has been termed their "West Coast production sound" is more understandable with three decades' hindsight. Perhaps due to distribution, this LP never got the U.S. radio attention that Songs surely did or even All Around managed if only by comparison to Steeleye's previous LPs. Yet, more so than TMWBA, the lyrics here seem equal to those of Horslips' triumphant Book of Invasions; the saga of exile continued millennia later to address here the Famine and its aftermath for those survivors who fled into other dangers in NYC.

The folk elements here seem layered into the rock more than TMWBA; the producer being Alan O'Duffy who had worked with the band before may have helped a more consistent elaboration of the band's rock ambitions to build upon rather than crush their traditional musical and conceptual foundations. The songs here are more organic sounding despite the keyboards and comparatively for a rock audience more familiar trappings. The tracks gain depth from atmospheric touches of keys that the Táin had prepared the band to employ more seamlessly as they told stories through both song and instrumental sections. They seem to progress from folkier to rockier as the album progresses, and this fits the concept of gradual Westernization and declining Hibernization well. The Tull-flute elements, admittedly, risk almost litigation for their similarity to Ian Anderson's signature riffs (which in turn are "borrowed" from earlier flautists, of course). Still, this is a forgivable concession given that the two groups were moving in the same direction and inevitably Horslips had to follow in Tull's shadow however undeservedly. Ireland vs. Britain again!

As on TMWBA, most songs gain amplification; unlike that later album, there's an instrumental, Exiles, and like that LP, a song that benefits from atmospherics rather than volume, Ghosts, a whispery lamenting ballad.
The spirit here sounds more buoyant despite the grim subject matter, and I believe that the cohesion of the rock and the folk, attempted on Dancehall Sweethearts, bungled on Unfortunate Cup of Tea from nearer the mid-70s, and withered for the last LP Short Stories in 1979, here reaches its best combination among the five studio LPs that in this rocking mode Horslips attempted. The lyrics read well, the vocals are perhaps the best of their rock LPs, and the band seems adventurous and willing still to try out new ideas with the freedoms afforded them by approaching the music as rock-oriented rather than folk-based. While many fans would rank the more promoted TMWBA over its predecessor, this rather humbler effort edges it out thanks to its sequencing, more balanced folk touches, and its narrative descriptions evocatively expressed with careful vocals.

The individual songs stand out perhaps less but their integration keeps the gaps from showing as much as they would in TMWBA. Like effective performances of folk or trad, the particular song touch blends in more than stands out, and the flow creates a stronger emotional effect by intimate accretions instead of by daring leaps. The cognitive shift to rock more than folk, AOR more than prog, works better than this album's comparative obscurity would lead you to believe, and the remaster (never buy the Moo/ Homespun/ Outlet versions but only the Edsel/ Demon 2000-era band-approved and re-mastered re-released CDs) sharpens the contours and range needed to take in both delicate touches of traditional Irish instrumentation and the assault of the heavier rock arsenal."