Islands - Should I Remain Here At Sea?

by Rob Jones Rating:6 Release Date:2016-05-13

Should I remain at Sea is definitely a different proposition to the other simultaneous 2016 album release from Canadian indie icons, Islands. The more adventurous Taste long player takes on electro challenges and even though it borrows from the past it does so in a more eclectic manner.

Meanwhile, the ten tunes of its sibling come in a more traditional guitar led format-although, this is a six string style that is not gung ho but it has momentum, mellifluous overtones and melancholia can also come to the fore. “They said I’m shopping for a coffin’…..’I said everyone get off of me’ (via Christmas Tree) is an example of the deeper lyrics. The almost haunting, whispered and sometimes falsetto vocals of Nicholas Thorburn are wed to tunes that can melt the mood and display a darker side. However, Islands can also lift the level of their delivery in a D.I.Y. just left of centre mainstream fashion. There is need for more tracks such as the short, sharp hit of Innocent Man with its lighter moments, e.g.  ‘You’re thinking of starting a band, your mother’s already a fan’.

Should I Remain at Sea is more representative of Islands back catalogue and in title plus feel this is a natural progression from the 2006 debut, Return to the Sea. However, one feels that it is almost like a bonus selection of songs that were not good enough to warrant the more expansive goals of Taste.

The music and melodies can remind the listener of a Martin Stephenson and the Daintees sensibility-and, in a convoluted sense Islands could be a commonwealth cousin to Belle and Sebastian. Islands can be embraced and not ejected. Although this work is not be ignored it could have been kept on the back burner and polished up for future consumption! Taste Taste if you only have the one choice, but if there is a little more cash in your coffers then Should I remain at Sea should also coast in to your record collection.

 

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