Land Lovers (photo by: Ruth Medjber)

The Last Mixed Tape reviews The Rooks Have Returned, the brand new studio album from Land Lovers.

It seems as if the term “indie gem” was created with Land Lovers in mind. So confident is their grasp of the hooks and beats that make great pop songwriting that it would easy to overlook the craft of it all. And, on The Rooks Have Returned there is considerably more craft on show than seen on their previous records.

As if to make a point of this from the outset, ‘Springtime for the Mystics’ opens the album with what could very well be the band’s high-water mark, the point at which they reached the height of their creative powers. The wonderous air of sonic exploration found on the track, expands not only the scope of The Rooks Have Returned but also that of Land Lovers themselves. Indeed, I returned again and again to this opener just to find the numerous melodic, lyrical and harmonic elements hidden beneath the great-pounding production that sits above it all.

That’s not to say Land Lovers have traversed too far beyond their indie-pop roots. The Rooks Have Returned finds the perfect balance between the myriad of musical influences and inspirations that created it. Songs like ‘Angeline’ and ‘Moratorium’ are drenched in retro-pop brilliance, brimming with catchy hooks, jangled guitar and big drum beats. While ‘Modern Pentathlon’ brings the record to a close with a furious garage-pop edge. All of which hide the often darker themes that sometimes sit within the lyrics.

The Rooks Have Returned is an album that gives a sense of wonder to the everyday in a way that seems natural to the music and to Land Lovers themselves. The gorgeous pop veneer and expansive production make for an album that blends perfectly together. This is not simply a collection on songs (or “indie gems”) thrust onto an L.P. and released, but rather one whole piece that needs to be experienced as such.

Rating: 9/10

The Rooks Have Returned by Land Lover is due out on May 16th via Popical Island. Photo credit: Ruth Medjber.

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