Label: Retrospect Records
Released: 20th August 2021
One of those (many) acts that you can’t help feeling sorry for, Vistas found themselves in the weird and not-so-wonderful position last year of having the perfect summer festival album at a time when summer, and festivals, were cancelled. The Edinburgh band have wasted no time though, and have bounced straight back with ‘What Were You Hoping To Find?’, a record that finds frontman Prentice Robertson on the brink of achieving everything he ever wanted but finding that the big questions still remain.
Whether deliberate or not, it’s very much a companion piece to ‘Everything Changes In The End’, both in sound and in topic. The same big pop hooks, the same festival-ready vibes, the same wrestling with anxieties and doubts. In fact, it could be called ‘Everything Hasn’t Changed After All’. And that, in truth, is both its big selling point and its big obstacle. As good as some of the tracks are here, and it is bookended with some fine bangers, it sometimes feels a bit like somebody has whipped away your main course at a restaurant before you’d quite finished it and brought the same thing back again when actually you fancied a bit of pudding now thank you.
That’s not to say that there aren’t great moments though. There is enough ‘let the good times roll’ vibes in tracks like ‘Stuck In Your Head’, ‘This Information’ and ‘Tied Up’ to swing the balance in Vistas’ favour again – more than making up for a slightly filler-y middle section. They might not get away with the same trick a third time, but this time around it just about does the job of giving us what we hoped to find.