Fang Island

Fang Island

Written by: DR on 06/05/2010 15:35:43

Fang Island's debut and eponymous album is one that appeared, almost by magic, atop my musical stack. I have no idea how in the hell I ended up with a copy of the album in my hands and at the time I had no idea who the hell Fang Island were. This was good because I had no expectations, no prior benchmark to compare it with, and most importantly, no idea what to expect of the boys from "Philayorkadence".

After extensively listening and absorbing, I'm now faced with the challenge of describing their sound, something which I'm not entirely sure how to go about. It seems I'm not the only one, either. Check their last.fm page for the tags they've been slapped with: "fucking triumphant", "good people", "happy", "to make you friends with stangers". Somewhere between the proclaimations of listener-fulfilment lie occasional mentions of genres, such as "math rock" and "indie". Even so, they don't represent what Fang Island are all about, which is a three-pronged guitar frenzy which will have you happier than a pig in shit. Words like "exhuburant" and "delightful" have no meaning when compared to Fang Island. In fact, "Fang Island" should be entered into the dictionary as the ultimate state of euphoria. They should play to depressed, lonely men about to leap off the top of buildings, it's just so goddamn uplifting!

There are ten songs, all of which have similar guitar tones and sound similar, but they're not really that hard to differentiate between. Although there are occasional vocals, mostly gang, they are used almost as an instrument, and it is the instrumental side of things that will sell you. You don't even have to be a self-glorified fan of artsy farsty music to enjoy what Fang Island are doing, because from the moment "Daisy" starts with "oooh" You. Will. Be. Sold. And then the glorious guitars enter, and the pounding drums, and then there's the big flurry of a finish. From then on, you're their biatch. "Sideswiper" has more of that hyper energy and frantic guitar work, but then it quietens down... for about seven seconds, then the solo, possibly the finest moment on the entire record, builds and builds until it climaxes, leaving you in awe. "Davy Crockett" is one of the other stand out tracks. It starts with roughly two minutes of subdued electronics, some more "woaah" vocals, a spirited guitar solo, all of which slowly burns towards the crescendo - led by vocals on this time.

The whole thing has a cheesey, almost 80s film soundtrack feel to it. It's a good thing because, like nearly every film from that era, it has a feel-good factor that makes the listener feel as if they can do anything. It's all part of Fang Island's appeal, yet there's nothing even remotely cheesey or cliche about them. Instead, it's fresh, original and will surely brighten your year. How to further sell it? I'll leave that up to Fang Island themselves: "Sounds Like - Everyone High-Fiving Everyone."

Download: Daisy, Davy Crockett, Sideswiper
For The Fans of: Bear in Heaven, fun., high fives, awesomeness
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 23.02.2010
Sargent House

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