ALBUM REVIEW: Islander – Islander’s newest album may not be the next big thing, but it might make you want to dust off your high school year book


“Violence & Destruction” -Islander (photo courtesy of band’s official Facebook page)

Islander’s genre can best be described as a blend of alternative rock and heavy metal – not quite hardcore enough to make your parents nervous, but just enough to make people from your grandparents’ generation shake their fists at you and call you a ‘rebel youth’ when you’re blasting the music from your apartment into the wee hours of a weekend night.

Islander’s roots stem not so far from the Queen City, in Greenville, S.C. The band is comprised of members Mikey Carvajal, Chris Doot, Eric Frazier and Andrew Murphy, who all formed the group Islander in 2011. Islander’s most recent album, “Violence & Destruction,” was released on July 8, 2014.

To review “Violence & Destruction” I really had to travel back in time and harken back to the mind of the Ariel from my freshman year of high school, back when P.O.D. and System of a Down were in my repertoire. While channeling this particular point in my life I noticed three things: 1) It’s been a long time since I was a freshman in high school, 2) my music taste has changed significantly over the last few years and 3) most shocking of all, freshman Ariel would not like this album because almost every track sounds exactly the same. Thank you, freshman Ariel. In exchange for your insight, it may please you to know that you grow an inch taller when you’re 17, and your wardrobe improves drastically.

In any case I wouldn’t go so far as to say that a lack of variety in the album tracks’ sounds connotes a lack of creativity, but “Violence & Destruction” could do with a bit more spice in the stirring pot. As the album continues, the tracks become somewhat predictable and less unique. Naturally one shouldn’t judge an entire album by the first couple of songs, but when you’re not keen on the first three tracks and everything else sounds just about the same, you can’t help pining for a little diversity – something to say “If this song wasn’t your cup of tea, let’s switch it up a bit more and you can try this one on for size!”

If you are an Islander fan and this album is on your Christmas or upcoming birthday wish list, it’s a no-brainer that you would most likely enjoy “Violence & Destruction” more than I did. In all fairness, being new to Islander, there may be a previous album I have not listened to that did exceptionally better in the past – it just wouldn’t be on my Spotify queue any time soon.

For the curious music enthusiasts who are considering giving Islander a go because you want to rediscover your inner metalhead that’s been collecting dust over the years, be warned: this album is not for the faint of heart, and probably not something you would listen to in the company of your parents.

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