The Belles - Omerta

2006-03-30 04:36

The Belles are also not afraid to use vocals and little else, making for moving and slightly raw songs such as A Thousand Ships. But the catchiest track is the lyrical Never Said Anything - "It's been a bad day. But tonight my love, it only gets worse." It sounds particularly beautiful when you've got a hangover.

In fact, many of The Belles' lyrics have a delightful quirkiness that will appeal to the 20-something "Why?" Generation, particularly Estranged and the country-flavoured Little Mexican. Another highlight is Liquid Breakfast, a superb 60s-like track that reminds one of The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations. Sounds mental, but it works.

Omerta is very easy to listen to, not too challenging or entirely engaging, but it is certainly not wallpaper either. Sure, a few songs sound too similar for comfort, but it's a far cry from 'a formula that works', which many bands seem to be producing these days (Coldplay's disappointing X&Y being an example).

Nevertheless, one can't help thinking that if The Belles had been slightly more adventurous, this would have been a great album. However, as it is, Omerta is likeable, solid folk rock that grows on you by the third listen. It also has promising moments that hint at greater depth, making you look forward to what future albums may bring.

- Amanda Whitehouse


Not as dull as Coldplay and just plain better than David Gray or Turin Brakes there's much to recommend about this offering.
- Holden Deforge for Leeds Music Scene

"...the whole effect is just a bit too innocuous and homogenous to make this truly essential. Having said that, the overall warmth of the album did grow on me with repeat listens..."
- Mark Bayross for

A two-piece folk rock outfit from Kansas, The Belles have created a highly enjoyable and occasionally interesting album. Christopher Tolle's lilting, husky voice is a pleasure and there is more than one Beatles-inspired moment.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.