Welsh rockers Islet open their debut album with the uncompromising, nine-minute Libra Man, which builds up from scratchy guitar, adding pounding drums, banshee backing vocals, keyboard stabs and a loping bassline with a somewhat unusual melody and some droning 60s style vocals. The track drifts along pleasantly before cutting loose in the midsection, shifting through several different backings, a real epic.
It proves hard to top this one over the rest of an album which alternates between male and female sung tracks. This Fortune comes mighty close, kicking up a considerable racket, with female vocals this time, accompanying the buzzsaw guitars.
The bludgeoning riffs and clattering drums of Entwined Pines and Filia see them come across like the Brooklyn hipcats heavier transatlantic cousins. What We Done Wrong overcomes questionable grammar via sinister keyboards, while fans of PJ Harvey will find much to enjoy on A Warrior Who Longs To Grow Herbs. Less successful are acoustic diversion We Bow and Funicular, both failing to overcome droning male and female vocals respectively.
But overall the album shows promise, and is one of the less predictable albums you will hear in 2012.