Canadian band Islands are back. Five years after Taste – and a seemingly endless hiatus for the ensemble, they return with a peculiar record, which recovers all the essence of the quartet, glimpsing, with art and ingenuity, a very bright future.
The current set consists of Nick Thorburn, Evan Gordan, Geordie Gordan, and Adam Haliferty – and it is with pomp and circumstance that they leave us with our ears set to their eighth album.
And it’s by Islomania, the album’s name, and the first song, that we start this walk. It’s fresh, sensual, with a seductive touch to which we can’t feel indifferent. The lead vocals hit us like lightning and then we just want to dance. It reminds us of Weezer, in their most danceable tunes on the dance floor.
(We Like To) Do It With The Lights On, the main single from the album and the ideal song to be sung loud and clear. Lights on or off, the rhythm are ideal for that late afternoon party, in the heat, with all our favorite friends and a good drink in hand. A hit.
We move on to Carpenter, where the beat lifts our imaginations, in a worthy mix between Future Islands and We Are Scientists. The result? All right at the right time, clearly: it’s really good indie rock!
On the fourth round, Closed Captioning: and if the beginning catches our attention with a little touch similar to Julian Casablancas, halfway we are already on the dance floor with The Flaming Lips or Hot Chip. The ideal outfit for the perfect party.
We move into Set the Fairlight, and a pace so high that even the slowest beat becomes a fast one. The vocal form that is laid down keeps reminding us of The Strokes on their new album, The New Abnormal. And if we’re fans of the Brooklyn band, we’ll necessarily become fans of these Montreal boys, right?
We put the tempo down. We move on to A Passionate Age with an ideal of introspection, of inner reflection. The electronic beat comes in a perfect symbiosis with voice, drums, whatever you want to call it. Everything is just right in this moment.
In Natural Law Party we feel a groove mixed with perfect sensuality, and the truth is that the law of attraction necessarily brings us to this music and its perfect seduction rhythms.
Never Let You Down can quickly remind us of Depeche Mode and a song with a similar name (Never Let Me Down Again), but this theme from Islands has a completely different style, more danceable and that stays, certainly, in the head of who hears it.
The next one reminds us of our youth, and how we played with them while growing up: we talk about Marble, and it is at a faint, soft pace that we remember Marble Balls and how they used to collide with each other in a game we called Guelas. The objective was simple: there were several holes on a given course and you had to throw your marbles into them, using your hands. After passing through all the holes, we could destroy the remaining marbles around us by hitting them. The song really hits our nostalgic heart – and currently sounds like the perfect soundtrack for the game: we can already imagine the singer’s voice at key points in the song when we destroy our friends’ marbles.
We close with Gore – and if the name points us to something powerful and destructive, the song represents, in an electrifying rhythm, the whole album in review: powerful, beautiful, and eye-catching.
More than an album, Islomania calls us in a sense of mission: Islands started, closed activity and, with pomp and circumstance, they return at their physical and mental peak. The guitars, the drums, the voice, the bass. Everything is right and at the ideal moment. And it’s a record we want to share with everything and everyone. A WtMM recommendation.