The Sails - A Headful Of Stars
2010, Rainbow Quartz Records
London rockers The Sails have generated a lot of buzz on the Eastern side of the Atlantic with a sound that blends 1960’s British Invasion melodicism and an alternative rock edge. Front man Michael Gagliano (late of Epic) and a cast of rotating musicians bring a sound that’s been lauded both here and abroad. The Sails land in New York City tonight at the Rainbow Quartz CMJ Showcase at Local 269 at 269 East Houston Street in Manhattan, in support of their album A Headful Of Stars.
A Headful Of Stars opens with “I’m Only Bleeding”, a brilliant piece of pop songwriting with garage/psych qualities. You’ll think you’ve been translated to the days of the original British Invasion and that The Sails were on the first boat to land (figuratively). The song is chock full of tremendous vocal harmonies and a great pop hook, all delivered in a wall of sound that will bowl you over. “Travel” is a dynamic sonic exploration full of far-Eastern influences in the style of George Harrison; the song is lyric and full of gorgeous harmonies. “In My Head” goes for the throat with a big sound and a melody that will sing itself into your ears. “Health Insecurities Limited” has a messy Beatles aesthetic going on; distinctive melody in a solid arrangement that’s just a big smudgy in the seams. “Yesterday & Today” sounds like what might have happened if Roger McGuinn sat in on guitar with The Beatles; an unusual sound that’s highly appealing. The Sails close out with “The Drunken Love Song”, a solid closer that cements A Headful Of Stars in its sonic surrealism.
The Sails create a sonic wonderland on A Headful Of Stars, reminiscent of the great Brit Invasion bands with a leaner, meaner alt-rock feel. The sound is timeless and the songwriting itself is solid. Even on the few occasions where the songwriting is bit more mundane, the sound is so engaging you won’t care. Don’t be surprised if The Sails take America by storm.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out Of 5)
Learn more about The Sails at www.myspace.com/thesails or Rainbow Quartz Records. A Headful of Stars is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download. The album is also available from iTunes.