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The Isles

Troika

(WriteMore Songs; US: 16 Dec 2008; UK: Unavailable; Internet release date: 16 Dec 2008)

This, announces the publicity, is the first Isles album not to have been recorded in a basement. The guitars make a yearning, ringing sound, a 1980s-Manchester echo. The group is based in New York. Its frontman spends most of Troika singing with the languid croon of a Morrissey, making exceptions for “Goodwill and Cachet”, in which his voice deepens and steadies and he sounds like Johnny Cash, and “Under the Cover of Paradise”, where he adopts a muted Jim Morrison swagger backed up by a Doorsish keyboard. The guitars and the croon invite you to compare their lyrics to those of the Smiths. They come off worse. The musicians are adept enough, yet they wear their influences so clearly on their sleeves that as I sat in the fade-away of the last track the only thought in my head was: “I wonder what they would sound like if none of those other bands had existed?”

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Tagged as: the isles | troika
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21 Sep 2006
These songs, though well executed and mostly rising above the influences that inform them, pass by without delivering much impact
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