Friday, 23 December 2011

Fang Island - Fang Island


Fang Island are a Brooklyn based Indie Rock, Math Rock band who have released a string of EP's since 2007. They signed with Sargent House who have fellow Math Rock bands Adebisi Shank, Maps & Atlases, And So I Watch You From Afar and the Post-Rock group Red Sparrows, on their roster. Fang Island have been touring this album since it dropped almost two years ago. Selling out shows all over the shot. They played a few shows here in the UK, but they were mostly bar/club type venues. The UK touring circuit has a huge gap at the moment because bands are either playing small venues or these gigantic arenas. University venues have more a less become extinct from touring schedules and the ones that are still around, don't take on these smaller, hip but cult bands like Fang Island. I cant blame them though because Fang Island are not exactly the most known band here in the UK, it's not like Radio 1 will play 'Daisy' and give the album a plug.

Ok, the general consensus. This album was huge in summer 2010. I'm not just talking Plastic Beach by Gorillaz huge, but Album of The Year huge. It gathered mass amounts of hype for their innovative techniques and fast, heavy style of playing. You listen to the opener 'Dream of Dreams', and hear crackling which is supposed to be the sound of fireworks. The little synth riff comes in and then eventually the organ is heard, then the layered vocals.. which syncs into the second track 'Careful Crossers'. The heavy distorted guitars come in releasing pure energy as each member plays his role in creating this happy, sunny vibe. It's an instrumental track and it shows what the band are capable of creating.

'Daisy' is the single. It's the same ingredients as before with organs, synths, layered vocals.. heavy drumming, right sided electric guitar then left sided electric guitar, a change in drumming tempo then a little breakdown before going into some kind of structured verse. They just want you to dance around the room with a smile on your face, that's what I get from this song anyway. I'm sure many others do, which has led to the most common last.fm label of 'Everyone High-Fiving Everyone'.

They're just a band that want to make you smile, and I'm listening to it in December with a smile on my face, the same smile from when I first heard it in March 2011. I think they accept constructive criticism, but what can you really say to them.. They're a skilled band with a decent, fun, debut album. In my opinion, they sound like an American version of The Go! Team. They have the same compact sound and a fun attitude towards making music, it's clearly visible in these bands.

I love 'Life Coach'. It has a dirty guitar riff and a solid vocal. everything just comes together as one easily, it's something they should be proud of because a lot of bands fail to create that full, unitary sound. You can hear some great harmonic vocals towards the end of this track, with lots and lots of layers of distortion, supporting vocals and heavy, eager drumming. It's the same story with 'Sideswiper'. It has a lovely little acoustic guitar segment stored away neatly around the half way point.

One of the major flaws is the amount of similarities between each track.. It's original to a point, but when you're repeating the same techniques and delivering the same sound in the same style, everything just sounds the same. They use the same guitar effects and the same synthesizer settings on each track. This just sound bland once you've heard the first four/five songs. 'Davey Crockett' is much different however. They abandon the fast paced heavy guitars and focus on a melodic synthesizer riff with light percussion, and clear harmonic vocals for once. After two minutes, the bass enters with lead guitar  and a repetitive guitar riff just raising the volume so it seems. This song ends nicely, it has some happy clapping among the layered vocals and leads straight into 'Welcome Wagon', which has that same additive texture we hear all over this album.The album closes the same way it opened, with fireworks and little organ riffs.

It's only half an hour long and I'm glad to be honest. Any more and people will be emitted to hospital with a severe case of happiness.. But it's a lovely little album, I would have liked to hear more vocal based tracks and something different from the bands norm. I'm not complaining though, I think it's a decent all year round album, not just for the summer. It didn't make my list of the top 10 albums of 2010 because, it's not that great. It has it's flaws and one of the major criticisms by myself is the 'novelty' like image the album holds. But it is a fun album, I enjoyed it, I continue to enjoy it two years past release and hopefully the sophomore album will have an improved sound.

7.5


No comments:

Post a Comment