For Heartworms being the first album The Shins have released in five years, it’s pretty boring. As a pretty avid Shins fan, I was excited to see what this album was about. I adore the album artwork, it’s got a 60’s illustration vibe and unfortunately, that is my favorite part of this album. It’s not that any of the songs are subjectively bad, but there isn’t anything new or attention grabbing.
This is The Shins fifth studio album. The Shins hail from Albuquerque, New Mexico and have been (mellow) rocking since 1996. Their first time in spotlight came after their song “New Slang”, off their first album was featured in the film Garden State. They have toured with bands such as Modest Mouse.
“What’s in a Name?” the opening track is fun and poppy. “Cherry Hearts”, track three, is slightly more psychedelic than the typical Shins song, which is a welcome change. “Mildenhall” shows up at track five and checks the box for the country-esque song on this Shins album.
“Heartworms” the title track is not one that ties the album together. It sounds very similar to the rest of the album and doesn’t stand out. The eleven track album finishes up with “The Fear”, and as is true with most Shins albums, it dies out on a slow, mellow track.
As a whole, this album follows the same progression as Chutes Too Narrow, their sophomore album. Where it lacked for me was a unifying sound or theme. Whereas with Wincing the Night Away and Port of Morrow I felt like the album as a whole told a story. Nonetheless, The Shins are a staple of early indie rock and it’s exciting that they continue to create new music that is true to their brand.