Islet: Liquid Half Moon – E.P review

isletIslet: Liquid Half Moon

(Shape Records)

12″/DL

Available 25/11/2016

8/10

Welsh psych-rockers Islet return with a brand new E.P. Simon Tucker is very happy to see them back.

Liquid Half Moon is the very welcome return by Islet, a band that have always been idiosyncratic, bold, and fiercely independent. The music the band create is nigh-on impossible to define or to stick a go-to-quick label. Some have decided to slap the psychedelia tag on them and it easy to see why as their music is so otherworldly, dreamy and sometimes unsettling but before you place the image of jos sticks and freak-outs into your mind you must be advised that Islet are SO MUCH MORE. Their music exists in its own space, creating its own narrative and if you ever get a chance to see them live you will witness quite simply one of the finest live bands working right now.

Liquid Half Moon is five songs of pure free-spirit abandon whilst retaining a unique musicality that displays the talents that each member (Emma, Mark, JT, Alex) has in abundance. It is also a release that is full to the brim with optimism and hope. Liquid Half Moon serves as an endorphin rush that breathes positivity into you via your speakers whether that be on the celestial closing to Mem Pal (“who we are is dust/bodies bound to Earth. All we know is love/who we are is dust) or opener Cathays Terror which is the closest the release gets to sounding to the bands previous works but this time the lyrics focus on love and hope (“I’m so glad that I met you/my sweet boy”). Another lyrical and vocal high-point is the conversational approach that Final Drive takes with both Emma and Mark trading lines creating a sort of kitchen sink novella.

Musically, whilst the swirling atmospherics and production will (rightly so) be lauded it is the rhythm section that is the true star of the show. Alex’s basslines throughout flow and ebb which gives the e.p. a real drive and groove especially on Slide Out of View and Final Drive and the drumming is at once free and jazz-like yet locked into an unseen pattern that keeps the whole band ever so slightly grounded.

Liquid Half Moon is a wonderful release and one that will be poured over by long-time fans and newcomers alike. It is a most welcome return by one of the UK’s finest bands and an e.p. that, whilst aurally unsettling in places, serves as much needed ray of sunshine.

Welcome back Islet, you have been missed…

~

Shape Records can be found via their website or via Facebook  and Twitter where they tweet as @shaperecords

Islet can be found via Facebook  and Twitter where they tweet as @Islet

All words by Simon Tucker. For more of Simon’s writings for Louder Than War visit his author’s archive or follow him on Twitter @simontucker1979.

 

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