• Sun, Sep 23, 2018
Reviews

Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets - Songs from an Island

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album Reviews Nov 11, 04:03pm

AKHIL SOOD Musical opinion in the country dictates that Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets are

AKHIL SOOD

Musical opinion in the country dictates that Adam and the Fish Eyed Poets are hip and trendy, and that they write lovely music, so I’m not sure if I should go ahead and call them bland and boring and drab and colourless. But I will – I’m all punk rock that way. Sure, they’re “post-punk” and they’re “R & B inspired guitar pop” or “guitar pop inspired R & B” – I can’t remember which – but there’s a serious hint of Courage the Cowardly Dog about them.

There’s this drone of caution and predictability that runs through the spine of the record, a drone that, while indeed dependable and comfortable, also hinders the album from traversing territories that seem even a little ambitious or challenging. In fact, ‘Magic Wand’ is a rare memorable song from an island, in that it threatens to enter dimensions of howling noise rock along with some impressive sing-screams delivered on the microphone. The vocalist, and indeed the band, commits unconditionally to it for once, and that conviction comes across unpretentiously.

And of course, not every piece of music needs to be incredibly experimental or avant-garde or ultra-revolutionary – there’s a decent enough case to be made for organic and simple music that connects emotionally – but the one place where the album genuinely falters is the very low frequency of actual hooks, vocal or instrumental, that could possibly stick, with ‘Wartime Mornings’, along with aforementioned ‘Magic Wand’, really standing out as a catchy and melodic experience.

The rest: mostly middling mid-tempo guitar-vocal driven earnestness that never quite captures the imagination, at least not mine – not to say that they aren’t tight, compact, and there’s potentially a goldmine of somewhat strong songwriting, but oh, well. And while not a soul in the world likes unsolicited advice, especially not in a review (because it’s fucking annoying), a process of stripping down these Songs from an Island to the bare bones and ridding them of any hipster pretensions would be much better received because, well, that’s still taking an actual stand, instead of carefully sitting on the fence and clutching a formulaic dependence. Eagerly awaiting the much-anticipated sequel to this in December.

Songs from an Island is available for purchase at http://adamandthefisheyedpoets.bandcamp.com/

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