Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Defy everything. Make a stand somewhere in the sand and resist conformity and disregard those who dare suggest that just because you’re A does not mean you cannot be Z, that because you are from one place does not mean you cannot live in another, that just because one culture decides you must live in their guarded room does not mean that you cannot explore the playground when they are looking the other way; defiance is the only way that they truly learn and it is always good to see a band stand up and be counted in such a way.
Regardless of whether you want label Lisa Ward & The XYY to fit into one category or another, the plain and simple truth is that they cannot be, they not only dominate the ears as if they were a titan with a good taste in music pinning down an ant, they blend with frustratingly superb ease the will to explore several defining aspects and genres. As the name suggests it is something to be proud of, to be more than just the stereotypical, something more than just being 27.
The spark is a real pulse that we all look for when it comes to band to thrill us, even in the age of short term memory, where the next fix is always followed by the next musical hit, the spark of enjoyment, of intrigue and the challenge of finding a little bit different which impresses you; that fix, that sense of musical cool is what Lisa Ward & The XYY bring to the album 27 and like a close minded novice jumping into a vast and colourful ocean rather than a paddling pool, the wonders of finding something new and exotic are there to be savoured, respected and benefitted from.
In tracks such as Belle Jarre, You Could Be Right, Liminal and Priorities, Lisa Ward, Sarah Thomson, Craig Birnie and Eamonn Watt offer the ocean, they practically drag you to the diving board and gently nudge you in, what you see, what you feel, that is up to you but it will be the finest push in the back you will have received in a long time.
A wonderful album from The Shetland Islands, not what you would expect at all and that is the finest compliment possible, an album full of gems.
Ian D. Hall