Friday, 30 July 2010

Record Review: The Bank Holidays - Sail Becomes a Kite [2010, Lost & Lonesome]

Like a long weekend, The Bank Holiday’s follow up to 2007’s Like a Film is as pleasant as a day off work. The Perth band, once noted for creating perhaps the most glorious musical tribute to the sport of badminton, have returned with Sail Becomes a Kite, a well-crafted record filled with so many different angles, tangents and vertices, protractors couldn't possibly reveal its full dimensions.

Staying safe within the walls of the indie pop genre, The Bank Holidays have produced a likeable, sensible and ‘grown up’ album with a surfeit of contemporary influences evident across its twelve tracks. You could easily mistake singer James Crombie’s voice for that of James Mercer of The Shins. Opener ‘Tripping Up to Fall in Love’ along with ‘Oxford Street’ recall the similar narrative song writing that The Shin’s do so well. These elements similarly define The Bank Holidays of a band of equal proficiency. In addition, you’ll hear tones incorporating ideas evident within the work of The Beatles and The Beach Boys, 'The Motif' being a definitive example of the former.

However, it is Bekk Crombie’s alluring performance that reinforces the record’s pop credentials. She’s a Norwegian by birth, meaning she may have either genetic predisposition or superhuman abilities when it comes to penning pop songs. Her performance on the standout ‘Thereabouts’ is highly palatable, blending her gentle and uplifting vocal melody reminiscent of Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays, with a winding guitar lick drenched in reverb, a sound so common to this sort of music. ‘In the Desert’ is also similarly outstanding, but in a more melancholic and reflective way.

It’s a solid outing for the Bank Holidays, 'Sail Becomes a Kite' representing a win for fans of intelligent and sensible pop music, something that will satisfy existing fans, but also perhaps see them attract more local and international attention.

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