[Album Review] Islands- Ski Mask
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by Tiana Feng


Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Label: Manque Music

Islands’ 2012 release A Sleep and A Forgetting was lovelorn, full of heart-ache and pain. For the most part this year’s Ski Mask is a bit angry, but more ready to move on.

The opener “Wave Forms” starts with Nick Thorburn singing, “I won’t ride another wave and I won’t ride another word, after today.” The chorus later reinforces this idea of moving on with , “There’s no sound, it’s over now girl, return to sender. The water’s calm and  I am moving on”. There’s a cheerier atmosphere in this song (and on other songs in the album) created by calypso xylophone and marimba (and later, the theramin).

Ski Mask is also more playful in character than their predecessors. “Becoming the Gunship” is in the style of classic arena-rock anthems, “run away cannonball” chorus. “Nil” resembles a spirited showtune and “Shotgun Vision” a 70s classic and an action movie soundtrack. Underlined by gunshot-like drumming, “Hushed Tone” is a great indie-rock anthem.

Closer “Winged Beat Drums” brings us back to the slow lyrical style we heard in A Sleep and A Forgetting and we’re back to ruminating about someone all over again.