The Homesick: The Big Exercise (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, April 3rd, 2020  

The Homesick

The Big Exercise

Sub Pop

Mar 24, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Guitar music is dead, long live guitar music. Or something like that.

See, guitar music never died at all. It simply jumped on a plane and hitched around mainland Europe. Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of artists from all around the continent whose musical wares range from pop to metal to folk to post punk and sometimes all of the aforementioned and everything in between. Which his how music should be. Not necessarily compartmentalized into its own individual descriptive pigeonhole, but a cavernous melting pot of influences and ideas ensconced into one mind melding concoction.

Enter The Homesick, a trio from the backwaters of Netherlands whose musical lineage when it comes to direct peers is pretty much non-existent. Although still in their early 20s, The Homesick’s members convey a wisdom and maturity far beyond their tender years. They released their debut album, Youth Hunt, in 2017 to an unsuspecting world outside of the close knit Dutch underground scene they operate within. The band’s panache for crafting musical vignettes about every day life as a teenager growing up in Friesland attracted the attention of legendary independent Sub Pop, so here we are, three years later with the follow up.

Despite the multi year juncture between albums, the majority of The Big Exercise was actually written and finished by the end of 2018. Indeed, many of these songs formed the basis of The Homesick’s live set throughout the tail end of that year, so to hear them all come to fruition in the form of this collection was quite a cathartic experience. Never ones to repeat the same thing twice, The Big Exercise finds The Homesick operating at the different end of the spectrum to its predecessor both sonically and lyrically.

While Youth Hunt demonstrated their post punk tendencies with elements of traditional psychedelic rock thrown in for good measure, The Big Exercise finds The Homesick in a somewhat more experimental mood. Even playful at times, as on “Children’s Day,” which sidesteps genres in a to and fro motion that ends up like The Only Ones covering Pink Floyd. Or “I Celebrate My Fantasy,” a five-minute opus that changes direction with every subtle key change. Meanwhile “Focus On the Beach” demonstrates the fearless nature of its creators’ collective mindset when it comes to arrangement, flirting surreptitiously between their elders’ record collections and the present.

Although fans of the band’s debut might say The Big Exercise lacks a song with the immediacy of “The Best Part of Being Young Is Falling in Love With Jesus,” it more than makes up for that by way of it demanding to be heard as a whole rather than individual sum of its parts. (www.thehomesick.online)

Author rating: 8/10

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