The Exit – Home for an Island

The Exit
Home for an Island

I caught The Exit with labelmates The Ghost three or so years ago and was very impressed. The band reminded me of a mixture between The Police and modern emo-pop, with a little bit of punk-rock attitude thrown in for good measure. I picked up the debut, The New Beat, and while it’s nothing incredibly striking, it remains a pleasant listen.

Home for an Island is a huge, huge step forward for this NYC trio, and it should catapult the band into the big leagues if there’s any justice. Rather than contenting themselves with reinterpreting The Police, the guys in The Exit have dug deeper, going into the worlds of dub reggae and classic rock in addition to punk and power-pop.

Deep, solidly played grooves surge back and forth until emerging into huge, anthemic choruses. The rhythm section lays down some very creative dub-influenced beats, allowing guitarist Ben Brewer the space to toss off effect-laden lead after lead. Bassist/vocalist Jeff DaRosa’s voice remains distinctively calm and collected yet expressive, and his lyricism has improved by leaps and bounds. Brewer also contributes his grittier vocals to three of the songs here – “Don’t Push,” “Back to the Rebels,” and “Darlin” are all among the strongest selections here.

This is the sound of a band that has absorbed its influences and is unafraid to chart its own future. Home for an Island is a terrific, unique record, and hopefully it’s just the beginning for The Exit.