Not often, but just occasionally, a band arrives refreshingly free of irony with an album's worth of romantic longing and good old-fashioned songwriting. Ireland's The Prayer Boat are one such group of men and this is their oft-delayed debut album. Their closest musical neighbours would have to be The Blue Nile with whom they share that familiar yearning quality, (in fact the middle two tracks, 'Balance' and 'Soon The Stars Will Steer Me' could almost be by that Scottish trio) eschewing modern technology and letting passionate vocals do the talking. Indeed, singer Emmett Tinley's heart-rending vocals are the most arresting part of 'Polichinelle'; soaring and mourning in equal measure on the title track and 'It Hurts To Lose You'. On 'Paralysed' the group almost forget themselves and rock out and this ability to diversify could serve them well in the future. It is hoped they won't match The Blue Nile's tardiness in recording their next release.