August 16, 1993 12:00 PM

The Devlins

Let’s see here. A band from Ireland gets together to play songs that blend the power of rock and roll with the thoughtfulness of folk, creating a unique and truly moving style. This sounds like a pretty familiar formula, but, in fact, the Devlins have enough substance to distinguish themselves from their other Emerald Isle compatriots.

The Dublin-based band, fronted by brothers Colin Devlin (lead vocal, guitar) and Peter Devlin (bass), shows tremendous diversity on this debut disc. Sometimes an acoustic guitar establishes a quiet, coffeehouse mood for haunting numbers like the title track or “I Don’t Want to Be Like This.” Then a slippery electric guitar slides in to energize funky pop numbers like “I Knew That” or “Turn You ‘Round.”

Colin’s somebody-get-me-a-throat-lozenge rasp gives the material a slightly roughed-up feeling, the perfect match for the loved-and-lost-yet-again lyrics. When it all comes together, as it does on “Someone to Talk To”—one of the best singles of the year—it becomes apparent that the Devlins are one of two Irish bands that have a real edge.(it’s the other guys whose Edge is uppercase). (Capitol)

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