Many performers consider the term "bar band" to be pejorative, believing it implies that folks will enjoy a certain outfit's music only if they're properly lubricated. Still, it's a plain fact that the songs of some combos are more effective in a raucous social setting than they are on plastic -- and as evidenced by High Road to Heaven, the Indulgers may be such a group.
Led by the irrepressible Damien McCarron, the Indulgers are among the metro area's hardest-working, most likable live acts, capable of bringing out the Irish in even the most leprechaun-phobic listeners. Moreover, the production of Heaven, their fourth disc, is thoroughly professional, and the playing of multi-instrumentalist Mike Nile and his cohorts is consistently skilled. But while the material is generally solid, it's also a touch generic, melding familiar Celtic influences and middle-of-the-road rock in a manner that, on "Still Fine" and elsewhere, feels rather secondhand. McCarron's throaty vocals help on tracks such as "Hard Back Dollar," which calls to mind a jauntier-than-usual Warren Zevon, and none of the tracks is anything less than pleasant. Odds are good, though, that all of them would sound better in a noisy pub reeking of love, lager and heartbreak. (See www.shamrocker.com.)