"This is the sound of a band having fun and nailing their sound. I defy you not to enjoy something as adrenaline-filled as glitzy J’aime Vous Voir Quitter."
Islands – Arms Way
Mad. A record that boasts a sleeve that incorporates elements of medieval representation of the human form, kitsch and glossy New Age phantasmagorical imagery and what looks like a stomach bursting open must have something going for it. Luckily it’s Islands, so in some ways we can rest easy; this is all part of their headily eclectic trip.
Arms Way is a much more confident release than their debut. It’s slicker too, and dare I say it, more flighty? Certainly the operatic element that they so brazenly use during gigs is seen in stuff like the epic In the Rushes, the sleazy, Sparks-like We Swim and the splendid show-stopper Vertigo. They might wince at this (for I feel that this is a studious band at heart) but they have taken that North American big-sound, angst-rock template (beloved of the Dears et al) and given it a far more appealing, more flexible twist by mixing Glam rock and Sparks-style elements. Certainly Aaron Harris isn’t scared of emoting now and again. And why not? This is the sound of a band having fun and nailing their sound. I defy you not to enjoy something as adrenaline-filled as glitzy J’aime Vous Voir Quitter.
A good, solid piece of work. Check it out.
Words: Richard Foster