24 February, 2008

Band Entropy

A word to the wise. If you form a successful band, you're going to want your picture to be everywhere. Pick a name that's striking and individual enough that google image search will send your cheery faces straight to the screen of every office-chair journalist and wannabe NME-hound out there.

A pity I publish this piece of advice a little too late for Islands, because when I look for pictures of the band, I have to trawl through to page 8 for their first, out of date, pic. This expansive indie-rock group almost inevitably hail from Montreal, and as they finish touring Europe during the remainder of this month they'll be dragging behind them good times, a rocking stage-show, a few cracking tunes from hit album Return to the Sea, and already-dedicated fans.

I was fortunate enough to catch them at Stealth versus Rescued tonight. It was an extremely accomplished show, and sounded as good as the Stealth soundsystem ever has. With two guitars, a bass, two violins and occasionally a keyboard, I'm surprised the whole thing didn't explode under the strain.

The strings and guitars give plenty to watch, and even the impression of two frontmen. The songs from the first album sound great, even the rap-less "Where There's A Will There's A Wishbone". "Rough Gem" didn't materialise, but with all those other hits still glistening, they got by.

They deserved better than the terrible PA system, and a slightly lacklustre crowd, but such is the way with SvR, what with half the people getting in free anyway. I'll look forward to seeing them, the sooner the better, somewhere they can really do themselves justice. That I was so impressed really is a testament to their vigour and ability onstage.

Even better news, the new tracks seem to bode well for the new album, Arm's Way, which is due April 21st. Fingers crossed and ears peeled.

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