Does the world really need a Northern Irish version of Real Estate? (Does it even need the original Real Estate?) Belfast’s Sea Pinks seem to think so, and their second album Soft Days jangles, swoons and occasionally simpers in all the right places, without ever really hitting the target in terms of songwriting.
It starts off very well, a slowed-down psych jam suddenly morphing into the sprightly, exhilarating surf-rock of ‘I Don’t Feel Like Giving In’. And other, more encouraging influences show themselves as the album progresses. ‘Everything in Sight’ has a truly lovely intro reminiscent of early Smiths, while closer ‘Soft Days’ has a similarly Marr-esque bridge. ‘Trend When You’re Dead’ recalls early Go-Betweens. ‘Depth of Field’ has those swoonsome fluid shoegazey guitars that DIIV do so well.
The problem is, there’s little that stands out here. Sea Pinks have their influences down pat but at the moment that’s all they have; little of their own character shines through. The music is one-paced (upbeat C86 indie-pop), the lyrics forgettable, the tunes pretty but steadfastly refusing to stick around in my head even after multiple listens. Like the aforementioned Real Estate, it’s all very pleasant and listenable, but there’s nothing to here to suggest we might be in the presence of future greatness, unless Sea Pinks can harness the spirit of the album’s opening seconds.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.