By Jason Grishkoff | September 20th, 2009
Nick Diamonds gained fame as half of The Unicorns, a popular group that pumped out simple, catchy and particularly goofy songs. They were onto something golden, but it all fell apart in the mid-2000s. Fortunately for Diamonds, he’d made enough of a splash to make way for a new project: Islands! This album, their third since forming, follows 2008′s Arms Way, keeping the familiar vocals and style, but breaking loose in one important way: the songs are under 7 minutes long.
Vapours doesn’t get carried away like Arm’s Way and even Return To The Sea tended to do at times. At its root this is a record that is in love with the simple structure of a good pop/rock song, one that basks in the glow of summery feel-good tunes, no matter how many are actually fairly twisted thanks to Diamonds’ off-the-wall subject matter. It’s a distinctly different sound for Islands, their most electrified effort yet and one that will no doubt receive heaps of praise and criticism for its seemingly trendy bias towards electronica-based instrumentation. When all is said and done, however Vapours reveals what no amount of lyrical obfuscation or layers of production can obscure: Islands are exceptionally good at what they do, and what they do is write remarkably unconventional yet immediately endearing pop tunes. – sputnick music
Perhaps one of the nicest things about Vapours is that you can stream it in full on Myspace (something I expect to see more and more bands doing as time progresses). I’ve given it about 3 full listens now, and perhaps my mood has just been wrong, but iIcan’t find myself getting that into it. If anything, it leaves me wishing The Unicorns made amends and produced some new work. But, hey! This is all subjective, right? I’ll let the music speak for itself.