Music News

Islands

Blame Canada -- for arctic air fronts, socialized-health-care envy, hockey hair and a recent spate of rock acts who have taken the world by storm with jaw-dropping melodic originality. For those who have opened their ears to recent recorded imports from our northerly neighbor, it has become increasingly clear that many of Canada's progeny possess the uncanny ability to rock fans into contemplative oblivion. As the brainchild of the former Unicorns duo of songwriter Nick Diamonds and drummer J'aime Tambeur (who left the band this past May), Montreal's Islands is certainly no exception. Touring now in support of its debut, Return to the Sea, Islands recalls the childish whimsy of the Unicorns, with a far more complex and layered approach. With Islands, Diamonds reins in his off-key vocals a bit, while his mates add string arrangements and guest rhymes from Busdriver and Subtitle to their signature sound of cheap synthesizers. Bob and Doug McKenzie would be proud.
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Sean Cronin