The Big Exercise finds the band keenly second-guessing their core chemistry as a live unit, imbuing their angular post-punk workouts with baroque elements such as piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, and even clarinet. The headstrong wanderlust of The Big Exercise is very fitting, given The Homesick’s exodus as a small-town Dutch band ready to trot the world. Contrary to Youth Hunt’s quest for belonging, roots, and provenance, however, the band’s creative trajectory is now dictated by a sense of otherness and imagination. The sharp contrasts are nevertheless ever-present; the music’s new sonorous depth is underpinned by wry meditations on family ties, alternate realities, and commonplace encounters. As the band’s chief lyricists, Elgersma and Van der Velde deliberately keep each other in the dark, allowing the syntax of words and music to entangle in surprising – sometimes delightfully absurd – ways. With aplomb, The Homesick made a record impregnated with impressions which – when superimposed – still fit neatly under the pop umbrella.
- Jasper Willems