From the rainy remoteness of Vancouver come Broken Islands, who combine the ruggedness and starkness of their surroundings with an intensity and burning rage which results in one of the most arresting debuts in the last twelve months.
Lead track, “No-one Left to Kill” perfectly encapsulates the blitzkreig of their sound: from the innocuous spiky keys of the introduction; to the fuzzy burr of the churning guitar to singer; to Rachelle Boily’s primal cries, it’s the kind of track which feels like you’ve been lured in and then violently ambushed. The slow build (the introduction is a full minute, offering no suggestions of malice) but by the time the thick end of 4 minutes is up, you feel like you’re watching a collapsing ice shelf crash into an ocean of blood. It’s fascinating, awe-inspiring but ultimately slightly frightening…this is a good thing.
Anyone can write a love song. There can scarcely be a lazier concept, mired by even lazier tropes and lazier audiences lapping it up. To write something which causes alarm, intrigue and concern is a tremendous thing – to use sound in whatever form to conjure up such unique feelings is a true skill. Broken Islands, with one track alone, can remind you what music can be and what power it holds. You can explore the album for further enlightenment for yourselves – no spoilers.