Artist: Naïve Filter
Album: Thursday Island
Review by Alec Cunningham
There are some bands that you get an odd sense about and can tell from the very start how much they truly enjoy playing music. Naïve Filter is one of those bands. The 11 tracks on Thursday Island exude an appreciation for and love for the music making process that can’t be found in every release.
This album is good in a quirky, offbeat, rock ‘n’ roll sort of way. While there are quite a few elements at play here, the best way the album can be best described as groove-infused alternative rock. With a female front woman, the band’s music automatically calls to mind tons of well-know, female-fronted bands like Heart, Fleetwood Mac, and Blondie. Vocalist Mars Booth happens to be the perfect front woman for the group. Her strong vocals are what really seals the deal as far as this band is concerned – it just wouldn’t be the same with a male front man.
Naïve Filter starts the album off with “Bubbles.” As the opening track, it does well to welcome listeners in, and its catchy hook is enough to keep them invested. Additionally they maintain interest through each track’s instrumentation every step of the way, adding intricate drum fills, guitar solos, and the like. This is especially important in sections with no vocals where the album’s instrumentation truly shines.
The album’s composition and instrumentation are by far some of its strongest points. The sounds are layered enough to create texture without ever muddling up tracks and overwhelming listeners – which leads to specifically mentioning musician Bill Naldenovich’s drum work. He’s constantly at work, moving his hands around the kit, which makes for a pleasing array of sounds for the listener. And in conjunction with the rest of the instrumentation, the band is able to create an emotive playing style that works incredibly well.
They throw some synth into the mix with “Holding Ghosts.” The track is about holding onto the memory of a person far longer than necessary. What’s interesting is that although Booth sings all the tracks, they weren’t all written by her. Furthermore, they weren’t all written from the perspective of a female. “Holding Ghosts,” a track written by the band’s good friend Larry Nixon, is a perfect example of this. Booth sings, “Had someone once before, ‘til she walked right out the door.”
A little further into the album, “It’s So Big” stands out as one of the album’s most memorable tracks. Booth broadens her vocal range for the chorus, making for a track that stands out and is sure to catch your attention.
You might find yourself growing oddly attached to this group as you work your way through the release. They’re an enjoyable band from the very start. And with any luck, they might make you appreciate the art of music just a little more by the time the album comes to a close. They explain their love for the craft perfectly in “Still Rockin,’” the album’s final track. Booth sings, “It’s not the cash, it’s not the fans, it’s not the fame, it’s not for glam . . . it’s just something that we have to do.”
All in all, Thursday Island is a release that will keep you listening. The key tracks to listen for are “It’s So Big,” “Red Giant,” and “Ready.” And I can’t help but think that they would put on one heck of a live show as well. Give Thursday Island a listen, and if you ever find yourself near a venue where Naïve Filter playing, do yourself a favor and go check them out.
Review by Alec Cunningham
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)