Home for an Island begins with "Don't Push." It's the sound a confident band produces despite not boasting any measurable talent. The Exit are smug and comfortable singing juvenile poetry over a muddy mixture of mainstream radio rock and post-punk rock. Cryptic, meaningless verses lead into the severe let-down of "don't push your love away" over and over again for the chorus. "Don't Push" is not worth the four minutes and 12 seconds it will steal from your life.
The remaining 12 tracks on Home for an Island follow suit. By track three, "Back to the Rebels," I was grimacing at the screech of lead-singer Ben Brewer's voice. Other than his squealing, the music isn't awful, just dull. It's run of the mill, mildly distorted guitar reminiscent of '90s radio rock with a rhythm section to match.
The Exit fall apart with the words. They've yanked random words written on slips of paper from brown paper bags and carelessly tossed them in between the chords. The only line that rang true: "I feel like a criminal for writing this down." He should be locked up--if not for the rest of the album then certainly for "Soldier." Here, The Exit hijack the classic guitar/harmonica-equipped singer-songwriter archetype to deliver grossly incompetent lyrics. Telling us that they hate what they see on the television is not profound reflection of these turbulent times.
The Exit have imagined an image of themselves as intelligent rockers that they've attempted to realize on Home for an Island. It's clear that in their minds, they've achieved this goal. But what counts is the state of their audience's minds. This audience strongly feels that, in their drive to live up to this image, The Exit has carelessly forgotten to write even one decent song.