Guest Review: Fang Island – S/T

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This is a review by an all new Liam, embarrassingly named after cocky former Oasis and current Beady Eye lead singer Liam Gallagher. Of marginally greater importance though is that his taste in music is quite impeccable and he, like the vast majority of mankind, has been given the gift of dexterity meaning that he can type reviews and shit. Here’s his take on Fang Islands début LP.

Fang Island, apparently, like to describe their music as “everyone high-fiving each other”. Now, even if this frightfully cheerful image does make you vaguely nauseas, do not fear! Unless you happen to be Piers Morgan, this album will still want to make you chug beer from the keg and mercilessly fist the sky like some second-rate Japanese porno.

The album starts with fireworks. Like, literally. Heavily treated guitar swarms in before the band begins to chant the ever-encouraging mantra of “They are all within my reach. They are free.” Before one has time to ponder the question of whether Fang Island have brought in the unquestioned party king, Andrew W.K, to scrawl lyrics on the back of a blood-stained wank rag, we realise that this album is definitely not going to comprise of ‘Healing & Easy Listening’ music, as the cunning fellows would have us believe. Mathy guitar stabs penetrate you and leave you feeling slightly dirty; this second track, ‘Careful Crossers’, is your first introduction to the band’s world, filled with never-ending college parties and casual alcoholism. It’s technically instrumental, but you don’t really seem to notice, the twinkly, bordering on Midwest-esque, swipes of guitar saying all that needs to be said.

Third track, ‘Daisy’, is a stand out track. Perhaps a predictable choice for a single, the band really pull all the punches. For starters, the track is of an epic scale, however it still sounds like a half-drunken jam a few of your high school chums are ripping the shit out of in your garage. All migraine-inducing power chords coupled with blistering and musically adept solos, like a less socially inept Weezer. After ’Daisy’, the band really introduces nothing new. The slow introduction to ‘Davey Crockett’ and the bookend track ‘Dorian’, although both good in their own rights, feel as if they’ve been included purely for the sake of juxtaposition. ‘Dorian’, in particular, throbs like an all-encompassing post-piss up migraine.

The remainder of the LP follows the same recipe – bubbly synths, noodly guitar lines backed by power-pop blasts of good fun and a thick sense of fake nostalgia. That said, it is a fine recipe, like a truffle made out of happiness and rainbows, so you never manage to bring yourself to tire of the band. Fang Island seems to be like that much-younger cousin of yours who, despite technically being the most irritating prick on the planet, you never find it in yourself to maim or even seriously injure. It’s no surprise MTV has used the band to soundtrack adverts to their ADD-inducing television broadcasts – this is music for parties, for smashing a car up at the bottom of an unused quarry, for getting smashed on cheap beer and vomiting on your cat too. In short, this is a very fun album, which although nothing new, will fill your post-summer world with much-needed warmth and epilepsy-inducing excitement.

8/10