You only get to have a debut album once. In a world that is obsessed with the "happy-go-lucky" mindset and the ease that comes with indie sleaze, Florida five-piece The Hails unveils some of their most intricate and karmically reflective work to date with the long-awaited debut album, What's Your Motive?
The first half of What's Your Motive? is confident, nonchalant, answering rhetorical questions in failed romance over ear worm-worthy guitar licks–with a looming presence of the opening track, "Caligula." Layered with easter eggs of lyrics from multiple singles and deep cuts from the album, titled with the name of a Roman empire tyrant, "Caligula" sets a cynical undertone for the darker, more existential backdrop against The Hails' signature bright and dreamy alt-rock sound.
Simply put, the second half of What's Your Motive? is mesmerizing. Indulgent with synth-scaping, distorted guitar solos with delayed echos, "Heaven" ascends the album to a more subconscious mind space. Followed by a true highlight to the album, "LCD" sounds just like its name–you don't even have to be a LCD Soundsystem fan to like it. Supplying the same theme of relatability and tongue-in-cheek that strings together The Hails' discography, "LCD" dives deep into tough conversations and flickering moments of avoided truths, while The Hails try their hands with an experimental neo-disco dance sound.
From indie to psychedelic, electronic to indie sleaze, no-mercy deploys of synth keys and electric guitar that linger in your mind long after the album is over, The Hails prove that a pensive, ambitious, and defining debut album will always be worth the wait and worth treasuring.