If you’re in the mood to listen to Beach House without all the Beach House, then put on the self-titled album by Boardwalk and you’ll get a lot of Beach House without the actual Beach House. Don’t get me wrong, at times Boardwalk mixes it up and throws in a little Mazzy Star and Beach Fossils with their Beach House. I guess it makes sense that Boardwalk would sound a lot like Beach House and Beach Fossils since boardwalks tend to be next to beaches, right?
When I started this album I was in the perfect mood for dark, dreamy music, and for a split second I thought the opening track, “I’m Not Myself”, was going to satisfy me – and it did – to a degree. Sadly the most I can say about Boardwalk is that they are competent at what they do. Their songs are fine. Amber Quintero’s hushed vocals are pleasant, but Boardwalk overall isn’t something we haven’t heard before, and in abundant amounts.
I’d say by far the best song on the album is the first track. Other than “I’m Not Myself”, there isn’t much on the album I can point to where Boardwalk deviated from this tired and heavily-walked ground. There was nothing that would give me a glimmer of hope that one day they may find their own sound.
I seriously hate writing reviews like this. I am a nice guy and it makes me feel like a real dick. However, I also have to be honest with what I hear and I don’t hear anything original or challenging on this album. There is talent in this band, they just need to shake off the very obvious influences, dig a little deeper and find what they are, rather than what they want to be.