Sunday, May 06, 2012

Album Review: III

Title:  III (BandCamp)

Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Is/Is (not to be confused with the post-metal band ISIS) is power trio that plays noisy indie pop/rock.  The band’s full-length debut III is full of sweet melodies and harmonies played off raw energy and wall-of-sound guitar.  The band has been compared to the likes of Mazzy Star (if Mazzy Star rocked out that is).  That’s a pretty good comparison but I’d also include My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Lush. 

III opens with “Bomb Me” a mid-tempo song full of fuzz laden guitars and a haunting melody.  “Loose Skin” then kicks the album into gear with an almost “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”-like guitar riff on top of some excellent pop melodies and vocals.  “Shadow” is next with its heavy guitar and dark vibe followed by the instrumental short song “Untitled One.”  “Lie Awake” is next and sounds like it could have easily been a My Bloody Valentine song.  “Moon Dropping” is another fast number and is probably my favorite song on the record (along with “Loose Skin”).  “Hate Smile” is the third longest song on the record and is driven by crunchy guitars.  Next is “Untitled Two” another short instrumental number, followed by “Fire” another number lead by crunching guitars.  The record’s final two songs, “Sun Tsunami” and “Save Your Savior,” are the longest on the record (7:42 and 8:47 respectfully).  “Sun Tsunami” is a song that starts of sparse before getting loud and fuzzy, reminding me of early Smashing Pumpkins and/or even earlier Flaming Lips.  “Save Your Savior” is moved by a slow Jar of Flies era Alice In Chains type guitar riff. 

With III, Is/Is have tapped into the early ‘90s fuzz driven alternative rock that we would nowadays refer to as indie rock/indie pop.  This record would have been right at home alongside classics like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, The Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish, The Flaming Lips’ In a Priest Drive Ambulance, and The Jesus & Mary Chain’s Automatic.   

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