|Remote Islands |
This album landed in my mailbox over a month ago. As summer said farewell and the rain rolled in, it became apparent that this review would not be easy. Remote Islands are by no means an easy band. They don't roll out with the straight forwardness of most bands and their choice of instruments is longer than most bands track listings. In fact, Remote Islands isn't even a they. Remote Islands is in fact one guy, Colin Pate. That said, there are some guests scattered around the album.
Smother Party is the perfect title for this album. The whole thing is like a layer of honey that lays on you for hours. The thing with honey, however, is that while some are sure to lavish such a situation (being covered in honey can't be all that bad, can it?), others will wash this stuff away the second it hits. So patience is a virtue with this album because with repeated listens, Smother Party does reveal itself. However, the closer you hold your ear, the better. "Constantly Changing" is in fact, the most direct song on the album. The irony of the title is at once glowing, which further adds to Pate's charm. As the album's strongest track, it shines light on Pate's song writing skills. "Samantha's Reverie" is also worthy of a listen. With it's warbling bass line, it lulls the listener into some sort of zoological tour given by Beck. It does go off course at times, but no tour of the zoo is perfect, so it's best to settle in and just ride it out.
Undoubtedly, the album could have done with a little less pre-programmed beats and more human instrumentation. Had Pate employed a few more friends to co-write the album, it would surely have been a tad more accessible. As it stands, Remote Islands covet that miniature position reserved for bands that some are sure to hate, while others will absolutely adore.
- Darren Susin | 2006-10-06
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