The art of renovating their sound is a difficult deed for musicians. Wintersleep are back in the quest, with the seventh album of their quite regular production. The work highlights remarkable guitar moments and somehow tries to change face to the band’s distinctive rock.
The fellows from Nova Scotia introduce it all with “Surrender”, starting off on a basic reiteration and then flowing down low-key. “Forest Fire” follows, recalling some good indie from a decade ago and recreating the same elegant simplicity of those years.
The musical elements of “Beneficiary” sound like a dissonant pick. An alternatively dancing eighties dimension seems not to work here as well as it trends in lots of songs lately. “Waves” and “Terror”, with their alt-pop drifts, are brave to the extent they explore new territories. On the other end, they seem put into a big bowl full of water, more than belonging to the sea.
Under a different angle, the album is originally strong in the middle, with a sequence able to show the bands’ DNA mutating into music. “Into The Shape of your Heart” displays a magnetic rhythm with a catchy refrain built-in, whereas the bass in “The Lighthouse” opens the pathway for a savvy guitar, rolling away steady afterwards. Encrusted in the album’s nucleus, “Never Let You Go” shines with its blend of storytelling and rock, powerful in the brevity of its swift harmonies.
The electric “Soft Focus” hits stronger in its premise than in the development and then, just before waving goodbye, the record writes a sterling, folksy last page. Albeit not exactly in context, this choice allows a “Free Pour” of narrative wit.
Stuck at a crossroad of multiple identities, In The Land Of contains very interesting moments and hints, at the same time, to a non-cohesive vibe. It is not Wintersleep’s masterpiece, but a work whose appeal is directly proportional to the time put into the dive.