To cure a bout of writer's block, Minks frontman Sonny Kilfoyle left New York City for Long Island, the same peaceful place that attracted Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and John Steinbeck before him. To eschew outsider musical influences, Kilfoyle listened only to Seal and Simply Red while recording. When he hit an impasse, he would exercise his brain with Oblique Strategies. Despite these efforts, Tides End still comes across as derivative and achingly boring. The 80s-infused pop songs sound like every other post-summer album of late: sun-drenched synth lines, reverb-laced vocals, trite references to days at the beach.
Tides End is Minks' second album from Captured Tracks - the label behind Beach Fossils and Mac DeMarco - and its best moments reference the label's penchant for breezy, languorous guitar lines, like on the catchy Weekenders. If only Minks would lay off the synth and embrace the guitar more often.
Top track: Weekenders