Islands - Return to Sea

E-mail this post

Remember me (?)

All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of More...

Album:: Islands
Artist:: Reruen to Sea
Label:: Equator Records
MP3: Rough Gem
Rating: 6.8/10

Islands is probably not the most accessible band you are ever going to come across. Featuring members (multi-instrumentalist Nick Diamonds and drummer J'aime Tambeur) of the wildly popular but now defunct outfit, the Unicorns (as well as some guest appearances from some of Montreal’s most notorious musicians), the Islands continue in the same vane, mixing style, tempos and instruments with nonsensical lyrics.

Reviewing the album is almost impossible. How can you try to explain how an album is sequenced starting with a 9-minute epic (Swans), followed by a noise and clatter filled song about the rise and fall of society (Humans) - that can be described as one of those Decemberists songs you aren’t really sure why you like it (and why they use so many weird sounding percussion and wind instruments), but you do – followed by a country & western influenced, masterful pop-ditty with one of the greatest titles in the history of song (Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby). You just shake your head, enjoy the songs and wonder how the creative process for these guys happens.

The single, Rough Gem, is amazing. Catchy as hell, using a simple keyboard riff to drive the drums, strings and synths, this is the Islands at their best. Much like their label mates, The Lovely Feathers, these are the type of songs that really show how talented they are and how great their songs can be when they keep the lsitener's attention. But they quickly follow it up with a nutty, off kilter instrumental piece (Tsuxiite) to keep fans guessing. Me, I like it, but I’m not sure if everyone else will. Case in point, will people want to hear some nutty white guy rap pushed into the middle of a rock album? I don’t know, but I kind of get into Busdriver’s wack delivery and rhymes with the instrumentation backing it.

The band can write some beautiful melodies, like the steel drum & flute (or maybe recorder) sounds of Jogging Gorgeous Summer, and this album seems more focused than previous efforts involving the duo. Don’t get me wrong, the wackiness is still there (like a 16 minute bonus track that is really only about 4 minutes of music in the exact middle of the track), but the songs almost have defined structure – like a plodding country backbone of Volcanoes that is strengthened by adding a lap steel and some delicate strings. It’s a nice growth for the duo, and the album is solid. Like the 80’s rap group, it’s organized konfusion. It’s the type of album that will produce lovers and haters. There won’t be many sitting on the fence. Check it out.

0 Responses to “Islands - Return to Sea”

Leave a Reply

      Convert to boldConvert to italicConvert to link



Josh Rouse - Live at the Red Room
Wordsworth - Mirror Music: The Deluxe Edition
Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
new amsterdams - story like a scar (mar.30th/06)
lovely feathers - hind hind legs (Mar.28th/06)
Hotel Lights - Hotel Lights
King Biscuit Time - Black Gold
Psapp – The Only Thing I Ever Wanted
ben harper - both sides of the gun
the essex green - cannibal sea


12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006


ATOM 0.3