If looks could kill the Shane Joyce's ex would be pushing daisies. You can only be thankful that he has some outlet for his rage and venom. In the title track of this nine-track debut album his hatred is turned inwards : "I'm just fucked up and almost middle-aged".
The acoustic guitar, piano and string arrangements are elegant but don't gloss over the rawness of the emotions he expresses. Joyce is a one time busker from Kilkenny but none of these tunes are designed to raise the spirits of commuters.
"What use is love to me?" he sings in Bad Woman and there's a Cohen-esque poetry to the despair that submerges and all but drowns him.
The Battle echoes the mood of Not Dark Yet with lines that come close to Dylan's "I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from".
Joyce is significantly younger than His Bobness so has time to heal. For now, that silver lining seems quite faint.
He bares his soul with an intensity that is impressive although I'm not sure he's a guy I'd want to hang out with for long.