album: Restless Legs - Baker Island
words: Joseph Emmett
Baker Island is an uninhabited island, roughly one mile wide, located in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Related or not, it also happens to be the name of a four-piece from Newcastle, who released their album Restless Legs on Philophobia Music, a label instrumental in nurturing the local West Yorkshire music scene for a number of years. It takes all my might and restraint to not scream “when two become one” in your face, but this really is a near-perfect combination, as Restless Legs is an absolute triumph.
Self described as “Noise-pop-or-whatever-seems-more-applicable”, the Newcastle four-piece's new LP definitely delves into these strands. Album opener "Demolishing The Fourth Wall"'s melodic charm is embellished by fuzzy interlocking guitars and shimmering synth, that sounds not dissimilar to a scuzzy, more distorted addition to Sarah Record's catalogue with hints of Los Campesinos-esque bass thrown in for good measure. But as with all genre tags, they're quick to hide the depth of a record like Restless Legs. On "Gideon Soames", swirling layers of noise are accompanied by twinkling, often discordant, piano and beautiful vocals by Sean Dodds. Throughout the album's 13 tracks, Baker Island bursts fourth with unlimited ideas, demonstrating a courage to try something new, with the focus and refinement needed to merge this with a pre-existing sound and in the process create something truly special.