Monday, September 6, 2010

Out At Sea EP - Magnetic Island

Out At Sea EP

Magnetic Island
Disregard Records.

SCQ Rating: 65%

The lead track off Out of Sea EP, ‘End In Bender’, blasts into climax with the shoegaze guitar washes and blistering drum explosions that most indie outfits would deem fit to close a record on. Not Magnetic Island, the new project of former-Renminbi members Lisa Liu and SMV, who add some descending “ooohs” in the distance as if to mark their chorus amid the song’s five-minute summit. Such a slice of post-rock isn’t terribly unexpected from the Renminbi (R.I.P.) duo, but ‘End In Bender’ does feel fuller, less angular and increasingly chaotic. Give due credit to TJ Richards and Nikkie McLeod for putting some added distortion in Magnetic Island’s ear, then, as Out At Sea EP looks to make an immediate impression on Brooklyn’s indie-scene.

Part of this impression will be crafted from this release’s diversity, introducing lyrical verses in the twisted maelstrom ‘Sung (Not Said)’ and a heart-on-sleeve plea on the stripped-back (but, you know, still noisy) ‘Summer Phase’. And while ‘Let It Lie’ properly combines the respective fury and melody of those previous two tracks in what is likely the best track here, the EP feels like a teaser of directions Magnetic Island may explore on a full-length down the road. Will they follow the path ‘Sung (Not Said)’ anticipates, reminiscent of Asobi Seksu before they torn off their love of distortion? Or will they dive further into the pool of layered vocals and tender guitar that define ‘Let it Lie’? None of this material really sticks with you, but how they deliver components of their overall sound through different songwriting lens effectively keeps listeners on their toes.

Because Magnetic Island seem too in-the-moment to know what comes next, Out At Sea EP’s sequencing ends up being one of the best indicators for the band’s future mentality. Terrifically raw and pounding to begin with, then slowly unveiling more sentimental layers, Out At Sea’s ass-backward introduction suggests a band unafraid of finding themselves in the spotlight.

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