Fang Island
Major


3.0
good

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
September 11th, 2012 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Your favorite energetic indie act picks decaf this time around, with disappointing results.

Fang Island have grown up, and I’m not sure what to do. Well, at least they’re suggesting that they’ve grown up, taking the same route that Bomb the Music Industry! did last year by releasing a more “mature" album in Vacation - this time around, though, it’s not half as genuine. While Fang Island’s self-titled debut delighted the kids inside all of us with high-fives, handclaps and energetic guitar riffs that wouldn’t be out of place in the soundtrack of your favorite Sonic game, Major attempts to filter the bliss through an insightful lens and instead dilutes the energy until it’s faintly recognizable.

The problem with Major is that it’s filled with slow-moving tracks, lethargic snoozefests that only work insularly. Boring music doesn’t indicate songwriting growth; on the contrary, if a band can make bold music with a palpable sense of direction then they’re more much more confident with themselves, and this implies maturity. What a shame, then, that the steps taken on this album to indicate that Fang Island has grown up are mostly red herrings. “Kindergarteners” is almost six minutes long, which is a radical departure from the concise cuts of the group’s debut. It isn’t the length that makes it fail, though, but that the song revolves around one meandering piano line. A song isn’t mature when it only flirts with progress, but instead works best embracing it entirely, even taking on its chief characteristics.

The stronger moments on Major come and go too quickly, but it’d be a disservice to ignore the few gems. “Asunder” features a band working in unison to create one of its greatest singles yet, a guitar-driven bombshell with unrelenting passion in tow. And while the song utilizes vocals well, sometimes it’s better for the band to go instrumental. “Chompers” relies on only the musicians operating the fretboards, and this leads to a confident effort that makes the group’s positive attributes shine brilliantly. It’s unfortunate that singer Jason Bartell doesn’t channel this same energy into his work, because the tracks that feature him are dragged down immensely. His performances were much more comfortable on the self-titled when operating as another instrument, but here the equation’s chopped and skewed: the instruments serve as the backlight for Bartell’s leads. While bold, the end result is distracting at best, and grating at worst.

At the end of the day other curious decisions regarding Major’s direction lead to a frustrating listen, one whose minor quirks somehow are pesky enough to outweigh, well, the major ones.



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user ratings (74)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Paul Golden (3.5)
High-five hangover....

David Driver (3)
In which Fang Island loses some of their bite....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2012


10196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Album's a disappointment, but it's got its gems. I suppose it was foolish of me to expect anything as cool as their debut!


Originally posted at http://www.muzikdizcovery.com

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

fuckthatnoise
September 10th 2012


1479 Comments


this grew on me to the point where i like it better than the s/t.

“Kindergarteners” is almost six minutes long, which is a radical departure from the concise cuts of the group’s debut. It isn’t the length that makes it fail, though, but that the song revolves around one meandering piano line.


1. you got the title wrong.
2. that song rules because of the way the guitar works it's way in from forming the background surrounding the piano, to taking it the reigns and working it's way to the front. the way that track builds is excellent, easy highlight on here.

YoYoMancuso
September 10th 2012


11080 Comments


nice review Jacob, love that summary

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2012


10196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks for reading, Noise!

1. you got the title wrong.
2. that song rules because of the way the guitar works it's way in from forming the background surrounding the piano, to taking it the reigns and working it's way to the front. the way that track builds is excellent, easy highlight on here.


1. Whoops - weird mistake. Haha, thanks for the catch.
2. I know what you're saying, I just don't care for it. I feel the track needs some varied instrumentation in order to be effective.

And thanks Mancuso! I had to change it a few times... In the very beginning I had it starting off with "In which...," which is how the summary of this album's other review started. I had to make some adjustments... ;]

YoYoMancuso
September 10th 2012


11080 Comments


yeah it sucks when you have to endlessly tweak a review, I'm going through that right now as well

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2012


4424 Comments


I have never heard of this band, but I may look into them just to see who they are. Good review as always, Jacob. POS'd

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2012


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I'll probably drop this to a 3.5 at some point, but it was definitely one of my favourite summer records.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2012


10196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys! :]

aircycle
October 29th 2013


965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

damn didn't realize this only had 60 ratings

victorinian is great at least



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