Brooklyn, NY’s Magnetic Island dropped a self-titled LP yesterday. The release is their first full-length effort. The band weaves distorted guitars, resounding percussion, and melancholy vocals, building them up until they’re ready to break. Fortunately for the listener, the sound never breaks and Magnetic Island continues to ride this unlikely wave. In this writer’s humble opinion, the band hits the equivalent of an auditory home run. Exhibit A: “Whatever You Wanted” – an instrumental eargasm of Strokes-like proportions.
As with most things worth making, this debut did not arrive without its fair share of tears and toil. The release date was initially scheduled for the fall, before distance caused a delay. Magnetic Island recorded the bulk of the material with Pete Weiss at his Athens, VT studio, before returning to their original home base of Brooklyn. This led to a lengthy process of phone tag and email exchanges for the mastering phase of the project.
Whatever disrupted, long-distance accident created this album, it worked. The delay of a release can often lead to overthinking and tweaking of songs until they wind up shells of their original selves. This doesn’t appear to be the case with Magnetic Island. They just needed time for the stew to boil and the flavors to meld. Exhibit B: “When You’re Finished” -a dense, dark, guitar-driven track that hits with the force of a freight train.
On the first few listens, Magnetic Island has inserted its name into the conversation of front-runners for my favorite new artists of 2012. That being said, it’s early yet and I excite easily. Only time will tell whether their debut LP will be one that I carry with me throughout the year. One fact is certain, I don’t plan on putting it down anytime soon. For my closing argument, I leave you with Exhibit C: “Acadia”
Now, go buy the damn thing via Magnetic Island’s Bandcamp page. A digital download will run you $5, or double your investment for a signed copy of the CD. Who knows, it may be worth something one day.
Written by Rob Peoni