With a name such as Those Gulls, I’m probably betting that the title of their new album, Forevermore, is a wink and a nod towards Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”. In any event, what you’re getting here from this Ottawa, Ontario, band is a stab at indie dance pop, for the most part. If Metric were a little less disco-rock and more indie-rock-centered, you’d have a pretty decent summation of what Those Gulls are shooting for. As an album, it’s pretty decent, starting off with reverby drums on opening cut “In Between” and nudging into the punky “Change My Mind”, which vaguely recalls ‘90s indie rock. The band has been apparently compared to M83 and Sonic Youth, and while I don’t exactly hear those comparisons on this album, if you were to merge those two bands together, you might be able to pinpoint the sound a bit. It’s certainly determined for a small-scale release: the recording is a bit on the thin side, which shows the band trying to extend beyond its reach and is a slight deterrent until you start to imagine this as more of a bedroom pop album (even if it’s not from the bedroom) and then things click.
While the songwriting is generally quite strong, there is the occasional song that misses the target lobbed here and there — giving credence to the fact that some of the fat could have been trimmed from a 48-minute release. In particular, the vaguely Caribbean-flavoured pop of “Company Kept” is filler, and “Tiger”, a lovely acoustic guitar ballad, feels out of place as it’s much more folk flavoured than the rest of the album. Thus, Those Gulls are still fumbling a bit in terms of putting together an album. However, with a little pruning and someone to write these guys a blank cheque, Forevermore would be extremely awesome on a big budget scale, which just goes to show that this outfit can hang with the best of them. In essence, if you love indie rock that you can dance to, Those Gulls more than adequately do a good job of satisfying. Music worth hearing forevermore? Perhaps, perhaps.