Sail done pretty well with their debut release in 2017’s full length album ‘Slumbersong’. They not only got good press but I actually quite liked the album for the most part. For me, the last part of the album dragged (that’ll be both the tracks ‘Shimmer’ and the title track) but there was a lot to like with the rest of it. Take note as this really is where I see that ‘Mannequin’ has taken off from.
The four piece from Somerset have now brought out this followup EP which gives us three tracks of the same track re-imagined in fairly different ways. I mean, the second track is a synthwave number so expect something massively different from Sail here; but I’m not saying different is good.
From the start, we get another taste of the rather poorly executed high vocals which was a feature that spoiled the good work of their first album right at the end no less. It comes off as a poor Matt Bellamy impression unfortunately and although I wasn’t a fan of the other vocal styles they used on their first album, they certainly haven’t improved. It’s an important feature of the music when trying to convey the emotion of the subject matter and it’s simply just a no go from me.
I found each track did have interesting machinations to capture the song in different ways. The synthwave version certainly raised an eyebrow and it would have been more fitting had there been a better standard of vocals. Likewise the ‘Director’s Cut’ version certainly sounded like their old selves but it just can’t get past that one major fault.
Not for me but I can get what they’re doing. There’s an area for improvement there and it’s something that can be worked on – remember early Mastodon live for Satan’s sake – so it’s not the end of the road for them. They’re a creative bunch that can make some excellent music so they’ll be back with something better in the future I’m sure. Their guitar work is definitely something I can get behind so more of that and less whining airy vocals may have them onto a winner. Here’s to the next one as ‘Mannequin’ just doesn’t move me.