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Whales'Island - Not a Dream, But Never the End (Cover Artwork)

Whales'Island

Whales'Island: Not a Dream, But Never the EndNot a Dream, But Never the End (2010)
Indelirium

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
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The first time I popped Whales'Island's Not a Dream, But Never the End into the CD player, I was convinced the singer of melodic hardcore act Death Is Not Glamorous had a new band. These two respective frontmen just sound that similar. As it turns out, they're not even from the same country-DING hai.


The first time I popped Whales'Island's Not a Dream, But Never the End into the CD player, I was convinced the singer of melodic hardcore act Death Is Not Glamorous had a new band. These two respective frontmen just sound that similar. As it turns out, they're not even from the same country-DING hail from Norway, and Whales'Island from Italy. However, Whales'Island do call Death Is Not Glamorous a primary influence, as they do Polar Bear Club. And, yeah, as musical inspirations go, you can't get much more modern than that (with PBC, I'm thinking post-The Redder, The Better-era, even). And yet, Whales'Island combine these melodic hardcore, pop-punk and post-hardcore influences on Not a Dream, But Never the End into a surprisingly well-done, confidently played and enjoyable full-length.

The popcore growl in opener "We Are Alone" is questionable, but otherwise, it's a solid intro. It transitions into the much more anxious "I Can Walk Again", which reminds me momentarily of the emotional urgency in Attack in Black's "Marriage". It's a pretty great, chugging, melodic rock/punk number with a chilling little buildup and a lot of heartbreaking desperation to it. The lyrics can be sketchy ("So you need strength, / you need soul, / you need feelings, / you need goodness. / Searching for heart... / love..."), but they're heartfelt, and leeway can be offered given that English probably isn't these guys' first language.

Admittedly, those are some of the album's better moments (coming a little early), but Never the End continues with a fairly thorough display of melodic punk rock prowess. The band clearly have a firm grip on thoughtful dynamics, keeping the wildly raspy vocals but incorporating plenty of other changes, from the double-time on "From the Start Till the End" and "Sorry I'm Not So Famous...Like You" (which even has a random old-school hip-hop outro) to the rock riff-infused centerpiece "Whales" (Foo Fighters get a mention in their influence list, too; here's where it's most prominent, probably). The joyous and dynamic vibe on "Identity" is a thrilling latecomer, while their pedals get a little more love on the temporarily languid "Time Flies" (not a Gorilla Biscuits cover, but it's got the catchy repetition for sure). Closer "Breathing...Running" is helped by a layered acoustic strum, and I definitely detect some Jimmy Stadt in there.

Not a Dream, But Never the End might be a little heavy on the better sounds of the mid-to-late 2000s, but if you can appreciate a smartly played interpretation of 'em, it's hard go to wrong with this LP from Whales'Island.

STREAM
I Can Walk Again
From the Start Till the End
Sorry I'm Not So Famous...Like You
Identity

Values

 

 
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