Album Review: Isles and Glaciers

March 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm 1 comment

Waiting nearly a year for an album can cause a lot of frustration. Rumors circulate about release dates, fans start to get angry and expectations rise with every extra second you spend in anticipation. Luckily, supergroup Isles and Glaciers‘ EP The Hearts of Lonely People delivers a beautiful seven tracks to satisfy even the most anxious of fans.

The EP begins with “Kings and Chandeliers,” the end of which seemed to be the intro of second track “Hills Like White Elephants” in leaked demo form. This quick intro track begins with a church organ and later adds bells and digital noises. Mysterious and haunting, it sets up the unacquainted listener with literally no clue that “Hills” immediately explodes with energy and power.

As I’ve said before, this band truly shines due to its three incredible vocalists, Craig Owens (solo artist, vocalist of Cinematic Sunrise and former vocalist of Chiodos), Vic Fuentes (vocalist for Pierce the Veil) and Jonny Craig (solo artist and vocalist of Emarosa). Owens strongly opens “Hills” with the line “These are the veins of the way that we love/These are the hearts of lonely people ripped in front of us,” showing us that the lyrics of this group are just as great as the voices singing them (and the lyrics continue to impress throughout the rest of the EP).

Following “Hills” are “Clush” and “Empty Sighs and Wine,” the other two tracks that had been leaked early last year. With lyrics like “Bunch of boys that have it easy/Oh, they live in a dream/But its not that simple, no, sometimes we feel just like machines” and “Stare all you want/’Cause you know that we’re on top/This is all that we know/This is everything you want,” “Clush” seems to document the band’s feelings about being the idols of the scene. “Sighs” is the fastest-paced track on the record and brings us back to the bad side of love with lyrics like, “I wanna tell her that I love her but I just don’t know/Oh, this is terrible.”

Now we get to the half of the record that wasn’t leaked in early ’09. “Oceans for Backyards” is another just-over-a-minute instrumental track, complete with resonating bell sounds and dark tones leading right into “Viola Lion.” This song has a much harder and sadder tone than those leading up to it, but the chorus opens up as Jonny sings “I can’t believe all of these beautiful lights.”

The album closer “Cemetery Weather” continues on “Lion”‘s melancholy tone, but is actually the most touching song on the album. The first time Vic Fuentes sings “I need somebody crazy enough to tell me ‘I will love you ’til we are buried,'” my heart literally sank. It’s a beautiful line with flawless delivery. Though the song doesn’t ever really build up the way you want it to, it still seems to be the perfect close to the record.

Check out “Cemetery Weather”:

Even though the three vocalists all have very different styles, they somehow flow seamlessly and complement each other perfectly. I must agree with AlternativePress, though…Jonny Craig truly stands out from the other vocalists (as usual) and delivers some of his most impressive performances here. Maybe it’s just because I’m a singer myself, but the music, created by Vic Fuentes on guitar, his brother Mike (also of PTV) on drums, Nick Martin on guitar, Chiodos’ Matt Goddard on bass and former The Receiving End of Sirens‘ Brian Southall on keyboards, seems to act more as background sound for the vocals. It’s actually difficult at times to picture exactly what the band is playing at that point. However, I applaud these instrumentalists for breaking out of their normal styles and experimenting with different sounds. Because of them, this album doesn’t sound like anything else you’ve heard.

Though these months of anxious anticipation really only led up to two songs (the instrumental tracks are nice, but not extremely necessary), I&G did not disappoint. In fact, the only true “problem” that I have with this EP is that, well, it’s an EP. Totally wouldn’t have been a big deal if the first three tracks hadn’t been leaked, but hearing them in full quality is pretty amazing. In an online phone interview last week with my friend JR of New Music Inferno, Vic Fuentes said that a special version of the EP will have a bonus track, a piano version of one of the songs recorded by a friend of the band. He also stated that they filmed some DVD footage that will be available as well.

Now, if they could somehow put together some more music and a tour…

The Hearts of Lonely People is now available on iTunes. It is also available on MerchNow and at Hot Topic stores nationwide.

Rating: 5/5

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Entry filed under: Album Review: Grade A, ALBUM REVIEWS. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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