Listening to White Arrows is like listening to glorious mishmash that incorporates hints of everything from Glam to Hardcore. Their E.P., White Arrows (Free on Bandcamp, Link Below), features very energetic tracks, but also has a few calming notes. The standout track is, “8050 (Too Fast, Too Slow),” which just sort of rules. The song’s intro has a remarkable resemblance to Chromeo’s, “Mama’s Boy,” but it become clear that the two songs have very little in common. They vocals sound very influenced by Marc Bolan, and the lead vocal melody sounds very Glam-rocky. The background vocals on the other hand sound a lot like The Blood Brothers, and this juxtaposition is really interesting. The two vocal parts are layered over a very cohesive synth, guitar, drum and bass instrumental track, and as a whole, the song manages to sustain interest. White Arrows made decisions akin to The Morning Benders, and covered a Fleetwood Mac song. White Arrows’s Cover of “Save Me a Place,” really differs from anything on their self titled E.P. It is very calming and floats along, and while the song is extremely different, the group is stylistically consistent.
The first forty seconds of Infinity Skull Cube start out as a sound collage and then builds into quasi post-punk style intro with almost trace style synths. Fifty seconds in, the song takes form and a guitar part enters the mix. As weird as it this may be, the track sounds like the lost child of Gang Of Four and Pink Floyd. The song’s dead space makes for an interesting listening experience. MMDDYYYY are a Canadian group with an awesome sense of humor. The song’s outro is a very funny goof, and a spoof. While the track might be a little hard to digest, it’s absolutely worth listening to.
Upon a first listen, it’s easy to write Kiss Kiss Fantastic off as just another “chillwave” group, but after listening to, The Red / Blue Shift E.P., available for free on bandcamp (see link below), they bring a new dimension to the already dated sounding “genre”. While it is scary to have to use so many quoted terms when describing a band, the correct terminology doesn’t exist yet due to how new Kiss Kiss Fantastic sounds. There is an 80s production element to their sound, but the songs sound like Phil Spector could have been involved in the writing process. They quality of the vocal melodies are one of Kiss Kiss Fantastic’s distinguishing factors. The band’s two vocalists sing almost folky melodies, which gives the songs a very comfortable quality. “Antisocial Butterflies” is mellow but also catchy. The song’s hook is memorable, but not like anything The Islander has ever heard before. “Violet” is a much bolder track, featuring harmonies and a more round production. The song is totally danceable but also relaxing, which is rare. Kiss Kiss Fantastic has something that The Islander can’t put his finger on. Whatever it is, it’s fantastic.
The Islander had a few preconceptions of what Dunes would be, considering the fact that one third of the band, Kate Hall, was in Mika Miko. Before hearing anything by the group, The Islander made the assumption that Dunes would be aggressive and noisy. In reality they are the opposite. They sound like an early 60s girl group whose music was produced and mixed in the 80’s. The track, “Handle”, layers Tranquil vocals over very a new romanticy 80’s sounding guitar and a very simple drum part. The harmonies in the song sound very Sleater Kinney inspired, and the washy production reminds the Islander a lot of the new Abe Vigoda material. At the end of the day, the song is very enjoyable and hopefully foreshadowing good things to come from Dunes.
Handle – Dunes