On the tail of their recent Best Indie Rock Award win at The Peoples Music Awards, Cambridgers Issac’s Aircraft release their debut album ‘Two Is A Crowd.’
This album is actually an odd prospect as rather than record the songs as written, in order to save a bit of cash the band have converted them into acoustic versions.
It is to their credit that they still sound expansive enough that had I not read that in the press release I would never have noticed.
That knowledge has actually caused me to rethink my initial evaluation of the album.
Although my intial thoughts were that the more poppy elements didn’t work, there is now an obvious explanation for that. However, the strength of the album lies in the darker, more bitter turns anyway, and so you wonder how the electric versions of standout tracks such as ‘She Is Moscow,’ ‘ Boogie in Boots’ and ‘Final State’ would stand up as compared to the renditions offered here.
They are a tough band to find comparisons to draw them to. The first few tracks sound like something out of The Kooks play book from 2006 – pure Radio 2 fodder but deeper into the album as the songs get darker and more introspective they sound more like a darker, less challenging Ryan Adams with vocalist Zak Thomas finding a decent approximisation of the infamous miserablists sense of defeat.
Perhaps even more strikingly, album closer ‘Final State,’ sounds like something Robbie Williams might release (I don’t actually mean that as an insult).
‘Two Is A Crowd’ marks an interesting, if not entirely successful, experiment for the band and would likely be best regarded as a teaser for their upcoming electric debut which should follow in autumn.
(Released through Crash Records on 4th July 2011)
Kenneth John Porteous