There’s a point to boiling things down to the absolute basics, particularly in music, to allow the purest elements to shine through. It’s the reason bands like Foo Fighters are so huge, because there’s a golden kernel to the songs that’s given plenty of room to prove themselves without being constructed by gimmicks. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Case in point Isaac and their new album – ‘Let It Burn’.
Let’s get one thing straight first though. As a band Isaac certainly aren’t terrible, and their Americana-tinged punk is hardly anything revolutionary. But on tracks like ‘Lil Lord’ and ‘Wet Legs’ it’s at least serviceable at maintaining a mid-paced gallop. But there are two main problems here. The first being that when so many bands are already using this sound, it becomes hard to stand out from the herd. Isaac bring barely anything to the table to come close to achieving that.
The second is that there’s just nothing compelling on offer here whatsoever. Songs like ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ and ‘A Polish Café At Christmas’ fade from the memory the minute they end. Given that Andrew Shankland is hardly the greatest vocalist in the world, it adds an amateurish feel here that is, sadly, difficult to look beyond.
That said, in time Isaac could still create something good. ‘Let It Burn’ may be far from the pinnacle of the sound, but there are couple of ideas here that could serve them well in the future. A lot of work will need to be done to capitalise on them though, because given the competition, this record struggles to cut it.
‘Let It Burn’ by Isaac is released on 17th March on Circle House Records / Golden Triangle Records.
Isaac links: Facebook
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)