The Bankees – Home

Rating: ★★★★½

Occasionally you encounter a band and a record that fits perfectly into who you are or where you are; these are the sorts of albums that you’ll always find endearing, no matter who tells you otherwise.  Home by The Bankees, just might be that album, reaching beyond my expectations and finding its way straight into the core of my being.

Admittedly, I’m not in the same place as the lyrics on “Single Life” by any means, yet I’m drawn to the songs emotional appeal.  I love the way there’s some restraint in the delivery of the verses, which is only strengthened when the chorus comes through with a bit of brightness. The cascading electric guitar solo nicely ties the song together as it continues through the track.  And then you come into “Days,” one of the standout tracks from the Home.  For me, the quality of the recording is what does it; it’s not overblown with production, allowing the craftsmanship of the group to shine through.  The lyric of “I don’t have that much to say, no one listens anyways” seems perfectly fitting to my wandering mind.  This track is perfect.

The Bankees put songs together so well that you have no idea what hit you until the track is over, so you rush to play it again.  Every time I listen to “Big Fish” this is the exact sentiment I get, hitting that repeat button.  Quietly strummed guitar, stomping drum beat and male/female vocal duo all feature on this jam, warming my spirit with each play.  Mid-track the song seems to come to a halt for just a moment, then carries off again as the cymbal is used for extra bits of emphasis.  But, making songs like this surely can’t come easy, even if they sound so incredible.  “Home” creates nostalgia personally, though it’s not just in the lyrical material, but also in its likeness to Arab Strap.  Similar to the Scots, this French band seems to strip things down to such simplistic moments that you sometimes aren’t even aware of the musical quality, despite how moving it is as it comes out of your speakers.

There’s hardly a misstep on Home, which alone makes it worthy of your listening pleasure.  More importantly, it’s hard to write about one song, or even several, as each song seems to deserve some attention.  “Under the Sun” closes things out in a softer space than where the album began, relying mostly on the guitar work and the vocals.  It’s almost a personal farewell from The Bankees, although the subject matter might not lead you that way.  That’s precisely why I’ve annoyed everyone playing this record over and over again: it’s extremely personal.  Whether you relate to the lyrics or your drawn to emotional appeal of the tracks themselves, you can’t help but feel enwrapped in the whole of it all.  In my mind, that makes for a memorable record I vow not to put down anytime soon.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-Days.mp3]

Download:The Bankees – Days [MP3]

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