I first stumbled across feel good anthem band Fang Island in 2010 shortly following the release of their self-titled album, and they quickly climbed to the top of my most listened to bands. Their overly awesome riff-heavy, guitar-driven sound — accompanied by an overall lightheartedness — was just something that clicked with me. Two years later and they’re still one of my favorite bands for summertime drives, with the windows down and no destination in mind.
Their follow-up, Major, is an equally awesome collection of rambunctiousness that I was highly anticipating. After a few days of nearly constant listening, I’ve found that my eagerness for Major — which has its flaws — was certainly warranted.
The album officially kicks off with its second track, “Sisterly,” which is a highly energetic bout head-bouncingly kick assedness, pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the listening experience and is a great song to get a taste of what Fang Island is all about. Continuing the cheeriness established by “Sisterly,” Major‘s third track, “Seek it Out,” introduces listeners to a rut of the album’s weaker tracks.
“Seek it Out,” “Make Me,” and “Never Understand” all seem very… intentional. That is, they sound like very conscious efforts by Fang Island to produce loud party music, and each song lacks much significant substance. Each track feels formulaic and conditional, lacking in the true optimism and sheer fun found throughout their self-titled record as well as the remainder of Major.
“Asunder,” and absolutely joyous composition of the fantastical riffs and spirited drum arrangements Fang Island stole my heart with two years ago. Vivacious and bonafide, “Asunder” is Fang Island at their best. The rest of the album continues tirelessly with other standout tracks like “Dooney Rock” and “Chompers.” These songs together, along with “Sisterly,” represent the culmination of what makes Fang Island such an astonishingly unique band — one that deserves your ears and attention.
When all things are said and done, it is easily decided that Fang Island has fantastic album with Major. Despite a three track trough of conscious attempts at achieving fun, Fang Island’s second album has enough authenticity within it to warrant a purchase.
Major is a work of awesomeness, and Fang Island’s unique sound conveys altruistic optimism that is sure to elate, entertain, and inspire. It’s not a masterpiece. It isn’t perfect. But what it is, quite simply, is awesome. Head over to Fang Island’s official website to listen for yourself.
- “Dooney Rock”
- “Seek It Out”
- “Make Me”
- “Never Understand”
Score: 8.5/10 (Great)