“We Are Not An Island” – ‘Vib Gyor’
We’re jumping hurdles this week – with that drought-breaking forefront on the new June-arrivals, Highly Evolved is back on track, as planned. And although I can only speak for myself when I say I’ve found some good bands lately, there are a stack more on their way. I know ‘The Mars Volta’ are releasing one, if it hasn’t already leaked – ‘Sigur Ros’, I can’t wait, either. The new ‘Eskimoe Joe’ – plagued with the onslaught of mainstream-radio over the past few years - creeps back onto that stage and fails miserably [apparently, I have yet to bother listening to it - "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" was/is their best so far, in my book]. I could drone on, and on, and on about them all – but it’s about time you guys did some research of your own: Just Kidding!
“… Yes… you ungrateful morsels. I will do your ‘dirty’ work,” The Enantiomorphic God whispers to himself, hands now clasped together, relaxed on his high-back-leather executive chair, “and when you least expect it, I won’t be there! So there!”
[Sticks tongue out precariously]
Lined up for you today, some delightful alternative, none of this “heavy” business; it’s giving me a headache. After last week’s Joint Reviewpick, I’ve decided I’m done, once and for all, with “heavy”. It’s going to have to be bloody brilliant, absolutely fantastically fantastic for me to damn-well rate it anything above a sole-star rating. So, sit back and relax this-evening, with a nice glass of Cognac in one hand, a cigarette in the other [gum, if you prefer], as you sit critic-like as myself, poised and ready to read [and in my case, write] a review perhaps not worth the wasting of your precious time called “life”.
“We Are Not An Island” is the stuff legends begin with: and I’m honest, 100%. This band has the music, the lyrics, the vocals, everything it needs. It’s got the potential to hit it off big, and if it doesn’t, I’ll be damned-well surprised and I’ll probably eat my own fingers to stop me writing reviews [not really, but it's good for some melodramatic, page-filling waffle, is it not?] They’re a solid alternative band, with some experimental touches here and there. I’m actually going to put them into indie, being a mis-used genre nevertheless, it still does seem rather appropriate for ‘Vib Gyor’. Although I’ve got no homepage for you guys to quickly click to, there are these magical appendages attached to the palms of either hand – in professional-speak, we call them “fingers”, and yes!
… You can name them if you really want to…
“Dude, dibs on Destroyer for this one!” Foolish Dude Two interrupts, at the risk of his own character deletion.
“Ass-wipe for him!” Foolish Dude One shouts, strangely happy.
“Dude, enough of the vulgar!”
“… Hey, I was going to name this one, that…” he points to his middle.
So, if you can’t be bothered looking into ‘Vib Gyor’ on your own, I’m not going to be there to hold your hand – the shame’s on you if you don’t, they’re exceptionally talented. It’s actually up there with a few debut albums this year which have totally and utterly left me speechless. The music is of an intense calibre that I would commonly associate with a mature, four-or-five-year-old band, with some albums under the belt, some touring experience, and some critical backlash. “We Are Not An Island” is like a mix between ‘Coldplay’s’ “A Rush Of Blood To The Head” meets ‘Eskimoe Joe’ [hence their mention at the very beginning]. And I’ll stand my ground on that one, it’s a hefty mix of both, and despite the unfair comments my partner received for his prior review: unlike him, I’m reluctant to change my mind…
“We Are Not An Island” opens with an infectious riff that manages to stay in my mind minutes, hours and even days after a play-through. “Scanners” whispers onto the front with the ominous sound of electric-wind, and the combination of electric- and acoustic-guitar: “Da Da, Di——Da Da Da”. My learnings and listenings have taught me that there is some elegance to be found in simplicity – and who needs a complicated tune, a mistaken rhythm and overly-loud music? Nobody – not ‘Vib Gyor’. At the instant of its beginning, “We Are Not An Island” has you hooked with “Scanners”; it’s lyrics are clean, audible: “… Stay down… Until I count to ten… It’s easy to pretend…” I measure my lyrics on audibility, quality and flow. “We Are Not An Island” is like the anti of “205″ – ‘The Bavarian Druglords’. Instead of the vocals reinforcing the music – and yes, the difference between vocals and lyrics is words and the sound of voices – ‘Vib Gyor’ have their music at just enough strength to have the opposite effect. “Scanners” would have to be my favourite within the album, it’s clean, honest, and it all just works…
From start to finish, “We Are Not An Island” is able to explore, communicate, illustrate and captivate you until it’s inevitable – and unfortunate - end. There isn’t a song I don’t like on the album, and for a debut, it’s really unexpected – sometimes, there’s bound to be one that you just can’t love. “”Red Lights” follows “Scanners” and has some very ‘Eskimoe Joe-esque’ music and vocals, which first lead me to the analogy. I’ll leave the opinion for you to think about, I think it’s a nice couplet with “Scanners” and draws you in.
“Tiny Daggers” and “Churchbell” have reminiscent qualities, and despite “Churchbell’s” beginning, which sounds uncannily like the beginning of a ‘Coldplay’ song, it is surprisingly well-strung and well-sung. “Ghosts” is a real first for me – it’s placed in the middle of the album, where a listener can sometimes get sidetracked and lost in amongst the music. It slows down in its pace, and returns back to the faithful acoustic-guitar lead and sole-voice to draw your attention back into focus. Again, ‘Coldplay-esque’ qualities appear, and I’m suddenly listening to the track “A Rush Of Blood To The Head”, ten times better. The synth is a nice touch, same too with the piano. This makes for a more intimate track, and is a fresh awakening for a solid beginning.
I’ll jump ahead to “Rhombus Suit”, which is the album’s second-last track, and uses the same appeal of “Ghost”, switching to acoustic-guitar for a successful electric. It’s important for a good album to have a defined, epic finish, and “We Are Not An Island” has done, for perhaps the first time this entire year, the best job so far. I feel proud to announce they’re up there with ‘The Killers’ and their unrecognised hit: “Goodnight, Travel Well”, the greatest song ever strung, to date, in my opinion. “Long Way Down” opens with some solemn piano, echoing in the distance, and the wave of synth. It plays with the same elegant-simplicity that “Scanners” had. It builds and builds, just like “Goodnight, Travel Well” building on crescendo upon crescendo…
… But, enough said, more to the point: LISTEN!
I strongly recommend a buy for “We Are Not An Island”, and I’m even tempted to send away for the special-signed edition retailed on ITunes. A brilliant debut, and a fresh take on alternative. Engrave it on your wrist, peoples, another five-star. Loved it.
I know you guys are probably wondering why I’m leaving it at a single review for Friday, and to tell you the truth, I’m asking myself the same thing. But I think, for at least this week, “We Are Not An Island” partnered with some other half-rate band might be somewhat unkind. I’ve written a decent amount for you to absorb, and I think with all the various things I’m juggling, 1300 words is pretty good for a current YR12 VCE student, whose doing two folio-subjects, not to mention a ton of other piles of homework, and is as much as you can squeeze from this adolescent pimple called:
The Enantiomorphic God