Review Summary: I have been dreaming, about leaving. . .
Wrote on a late British summer, yet referencing spring in its title; planned to be released at the beginning of autumn, yet actually coming out on the brink of winter (I know my southern hemisphere readers won’t relate with this, but alas) - there is something that feels off
when listening to Spring Island, and it is not just due to its seasonality quirks. Far from the dystopian-yet-airy concept of 2018’s Ghost City, the third effort of the British quartet holds a thematical fil rouge
that feels dissonant with the emotions we usually attach to the awakening themes of spring; the sensations we feel while reflecting, pondering on what is next while being aware of the stasis the world currently seems to rest at.
The disc exudes the malaise of inaction, yet not in an unwelcomed way. It allegorically achieves this in the way it sounds, a more cohesive continuation of the fantastically delicate yet powerful emo/math-rock the band has been known for in their previous efforts. Old fans might not find anything new sonically in Spring Island, but it might not matter when the disc is chock-full of high-quality melodies, with the band excelling in what they do best: pumping up creative riffing over crafty odd beats, smart lyricism and emotional crescendos that bring to a satisfying payoff. Each track provides a different viewpoint to a very coherent aesthetic in tune with the themes touched on the LP, resulting however in a less varied result compared to its predecessor. Truth be told - if you like one of these songs, there is a high chance you will like most if not all of them. And vice versa.
This perception of motionlessness is also thoroughly addressed in the lyrics; “The world is overheating – sat on the floor repeating – I don´t do well – knowing the days are a number; all of the time in the world – still I can´t make it” sings Devin Yüceil in arguably his best performance as lyricist and vocalist. “Dreaming about leaving this house, calculating how the world has overspun” – yet it is just what it is. It depicts simply what living in 2021 feels like, in a world that is opened yet closed, wrapped in present uncertainty and future bleakness, still with a melancholic outlook at enjoying what we however presently hold in our hands.
That is why, maybe, the disc is after-all aptly titled, and time-placed: echoes nostalgy-tinged golden autumn tapestries, yet aims for that long-gone spring and for the consequential simplicity of summers to come, of those simple things to be found in a world of ever-increasing complexity.