Home for an Island begins with “Don’t Push”. It is the sound a confident band produces despite not boasting any measurable talent. The Exit are smug and comfortable singing juvenile poetry over a muddy mixture of mainstream radio rock and post-punk rock. Cryptic, meaningless verses lead into the severe let-down of “don’t push your love away” over and over again for the chorus. “Don’t Push” is not worth the four minutes and twelve seconds it will steal from your life.
The remaining twelve tracks on Home for an Island follow suite. By track 3, “Back to the Rebels”, I was grimacing at the screech of lead-singer Ben Brewer’s voice. Other than his squealing, the music isn’t awful, just dull. Its run of the mill, mildly distorted guitar reminiscent of Nineties radio rock with a rhythm section to match.
The Exit fall apart with the words. They’ve yanked random words written on slips of paper from brown paper bags and carelessly tossed them in between the chords. The only line that rang true: “I feel like a criminal for writing this down.” The writer should be locked up – if not for the rest of the album then certainly for “Soldier”. Here The Exit hijack the classic guitar/harmonica equipped singer-songwriter archetype to deliver grossly incompetent lyrics. Telling us that you hate what you see on the television is not profound reflection of these turbulent times.
The Exit have imagined an image of themselves as intelligent rockers that they’ve attempted to realize on Home for an Island. It is clear that in their minds, they’ve achieved this goal. But what counts is the state of their audience’s minds. This audience strongly feels that, in their drive to live up to this image, The Exit has carelessly forgotten to write even one decent song.