When The Good, The Bad and The Queen played at a small venue at the end of my street in Cullercoats, England last November I spoke to Damon Albarn about his various music projects. I had mentioned that it must be tough to balance such huge differing demands for an expectant public. Filling any such musical void can be a punishing dilemma for any protagonist front man, especially with his band Gorillaz. Unless, there are others to fill (or complement) that void…
Well, there may be such a complement in the form of ‘alternative rock collective’ – Think Sanity. Any band that calls themselves a collective can be open to ridicule, but passing the self-proclaimed title by, they’re much more accomplished than that. If you play on the word ‘alt’ to more often than the ‘rock’ you get their sound and certainly their style and influences.
Releasing an eleven track self-titled debut album from scratch is never an easy task. But, Think Sanity have established a style of a certain pedigree. The band’s influences are clear, yet subtle – a play on a mixed genre is both exciting and welcoming. The album is a mix of soulful, thoughtful and atmospheric ballads (I’m Real, I Think, Blood Thinners and Asprin) coupled with let’s get up and dance Foo Fighters-style tracks (Surgery, Breaking the Panorama). There’s Gorillaz influence for sure, but this album has its own determined vibe and momentum.
For a debut album, Think Sanity is a mix of unescapably themed narratives along personal lines: hospitals, medication and mental health appear prevalent alongside the mix of tunes. Melancholy alongside riff-drivers that will keep you alert.
Review by Craig Beauman