The real skill in Gemma Hayes' 2002 debut 'Night On My Side' is the way in which it defies pigeon-holing. Confidently produced by Dave Fridmann (who seems to produce every man and his dog these days) Hayes tries her hand in the usually mis-matched genres of folk-pop and "heads down" grunge. It is the latter category which is most rewarding as it positions the traditonal views of an Irish female singer-songwriter into hitherto unchartered territory and the results are terrific with four tracks being superb (including the sprawling semi-dirge of 'Tear In My Side') as if Hayes' compatriots Whipping Boy had taken over the reins. They didn't of course and pleasingly Hayes' voice can be heard triumphantly over the wonderful racket. Of the rest, the superb 'Ran For Miles' aims for intimacy rather than rock-out and 'My God' exudes a simplistic charm. There are a number of routes Hayes could take for her next album but one gets the feeling that she will make a success of it either way.