Sleep.shy : Gallapagos Inn

Stop, start, stop, start, stop, start. A curious album today. Technically I suppose it’d be ‘Indie’ and, unlike most, I do place some stock in the concept of genres given that most musicians who say they can’t define themselves in such an ordered manner are usually just a bit deluded and desperate to feel different. Anyway, Galapagos Inn, Indie, with a dash of Electro, a hefty dollop of Folk and a dribble of something a bit more abstract. Potentially a nice mix but one which, to a certain degree, leads back to my opening statement of ‘start, stop, start, stop’, which wasn’t intended to be as cryptic as it perhaps seemed.

I do quite like this album, in fact I think it’s got some moments of genuine greatness in it, especially when it plays to the groups strengths. On the down side though there’s a lot packed into this collection stylistically, a lot packed into each individual song in fact and even if that does make for some rather impressive moments of layered fusion it also makes the listening experience a rather hard one. There’s no trouble in finding something to like here, be it the ‘quirky’ (and yes I am ashamed of myself for using that word) lyrics and personality contained, in the occasional elements of sweeping, grand feeling instrumentalism or in some of the strictly Indie vocals but no one element feels consistently present in the album as a whole. It stutters too much and darts around from strength to strength almost as if the band were so excited by their own potential that they developed a kind of musical ADHD during the recording process.

Personally, and I claim no ‘rightness’ here, I’d say that the strongest part of this album lies in the moments of eccentric, modern Folk stylings which do benefit from the eclecticism which surrounds them but only so long as they remain at the core of the sound rather than simply being another element in the stew of this album. If extended and better balanced that element alone could have carried a full length album of its own as, no doubt, could a few other of the strands contained.

Still, for all that lack of consistency here this remains a rather good effort indeed and well worth a download if only to torture yourself a little over what this could have been if your own favourite element of it had been made the focus rather than another auxiliary to the mess of intents.

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