Island (they style it ISLAND) are a cool indie band with a young fanbase. You can tell the fans are young because we Googled some reviews and many of them made no sense, students thinking their thesaurus is more important than writing a coherent review.
We love it. We discovered Island by mistake: we’d gone to see Meadowlark supporting Amber Run, missed Meadowlark’s set bar the last five notes but stayed for the second support, Island, and were mightily impressed. They were better than the headliners, and Amber Run were pretty good.
We remember Island as technically proficient musicians playing complex indie that was almost prog, but with a summery, Caribbean vibe going on.
This studio debut comes over as less proggy but more polished and surprisingly downbeat in lyrical tone, but with the Caribbean feel still evident. Even on The Day I Die the sound is chilled and sunny. “Tell my mother I love her so / Cos this is the day I die” is followed by a glorious guitar lick.
We’ve got no lyrics, but we think it’s something of a loose concept album, boy met girl and fell in love, all goes wrong, boy is sad. Opener Ride has sparkly guitar and a chorus with a break-beat. With lyrics like “I curse that song on the radio” and “She said she ‘don’t know where I’ll go’” it’s possibly the break-up. On track two Try the narrator is regretting the turn of events, saying “I found a new way to die / It’s hidden in your tear-stained eyes.”
We hope The Day I Die is reflecting on this aspect of love, rather than kicking of the bucket — it’s pretty chipper for a death song, with some great guitar. Something Perfect could be the narrator wondering where it all went wrong.
On the negative side, there’s not a lot of variation and the pace is never more than middling; another member of the Review Corner calls it “a bit dull” and expresses surprise we play it so much. One for fans of happy but heartfelt indie; try The Day I Die.