The Copyrights’ fifth studio album, North Sentinel Island, opens up with the band’s most straightforward, hardhitting, rock and roll riff in years, and best of all, they’re completely unapologetic for it. The opening track quickly segues into a blend of crunchy guitar riffs layered on top of melodic vocal hooks. Before “Trustees Of Modern Chemistry” finishes, you can rest assured that the band hasn’t lost any of their steam in their three-year absence since 2008’s Learn The Hard Way came out.
Without being overly complex or intricate, The Copyrights manage to draw the listener in with a lifetime worth of passion and dedication to the genre. In one swift motion, the southern Illinoisans pay tribute to the pioneering bands of the genre and remind us that they’re one of the good guys – paying their dues and furthering their sound with every note. Obvious reference points include “Expatriate Blues” and the downright sing-along fodder “Worn Out Passport”.
The album’s title is a direct reference to the hyper-isolated population of the eponymous landmass off the coast of India, and news clips pertaining to the population and society are peppered in intermittently. While the sounds contained herein are anything but isolating (these 14 songs are seriously all gems), the topic infects the majority of said tracks creating a rich dichotomy of down-and-out, pessimistic lyrical sets on top of some of the most hook-laden pop-punk songs put to tape this year. Much like the previous Copyrights full lengths, North Sentinel Island clocks in at around the 30-minute mark, making it a great, concise little collection that’s sure to pick you up and knock you down on a track-by-track basis. Is it the band’s best material to date? That’s debatable; every Copyrights record has had highs and lows comparable to the last, but it’s apparently clear that the band is giving their all and it’s paying off. Big time.