Canada’s Said The Whale sound like they’re actually from San Diego and not Vancouver. When we think about Canadian rock we think of bands like Three Days Grace, My Darkest Days, and a slew of other bands that dominated the charts in mainstream and modern rock over the past decade. Said The Whale is a little more fashionable these days than those bands. Either way, Said The Whale has a style that’s a unique blend of 60’s pop rock with a decent peppering of straight-across rock like The White Stripes with a touch of surf-rock there.
On their new album, Hawaii, Said The Whale go further down the 60’s rabbit hole than they already have. This album even sounds like it was made in 1968. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the production, there’s just a lot of warmth to this record that pours out of the speakers. Duel vocalists Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft are a big part of that retro sound that the band has, and the assist from Jaycelyn Brown, who handles keyboards for the band, doesn’t hurt either. Said The Whale have a great sound that might not be altogether original, but it’s definitely unique among the current music landscape.
Hawaii will be decent to most newcomers to Said The Whale, that’s just because it’ll be the first time hearing the band. The longevity of the album to those people is slightly questionable. There’s a decent single here in “I Love You” and there are a few breezy surf-rock songs that are really easy for audiences to connect with, but there’s going to be some material on this album that’s more challenging for audiences to latch on to. It’s not bad, and I’m sure most of these songs will find who they’re meant for, it’s just not for everyone.
Said The Whale is an outstanding group and Hawaii is a good record. It’s not great, but it’s definitely good. If you’re looking for a blast from the past with a modern twist then you should be up for Said The Whale.