Reviews

Enchanted Islands

Author: Megahn Kearney
03/24/2009 | Frontandcenterrock.com | www.frontandcenterrock.com | Album Review
After a short lived perch on the Saddle Creek family tree with the band Gabardine, Eric Bemberger and Chris Hughes went on to plant a new down-home Omaha seed with their project Beep Beep. After a few joining/departing members, including Hughes and current Faint bass player Joel Patterson, Beep Beep released their new album Enchanted Islands.

Enchanted Islands, named after the wondrous Galapagos Islands, is somewhat of a concept album. Themed not so much upon the beauty and alluringness of the islands, but ironically of someone stranded from something much more meaningful. Including tons of riotous instrumentals, vocals all over the sound spectrum, and metaphorical lyrics, the very Minus The Bear like indie rockers bring forth a perfect blend of wild loveable sounds.

The album opens with vocals "Hello children," on the 55 second long intro track "I See You." It transitions nicely into a similar sounding song "Mermaid Struggle" which begins with the sounds of solemn ocean and the creaky echo of an abandoned ship among the waves. Immediately the "castaway" feeling is felt. Abrupt and energetic guitar, drums and bass kick in to showcase the quirkiness of Beep Beep.

The song "Return To Me" combines the recurrent twangy guitar with the most soothing vocals of the album. Straying away from the chaotic instrumentals, this track softens it up a tad as a brooding love song. Lyrics "Will you return to me/ until then I'll lay on the bank," forward the island themed tale of waiting along an oceanside, alone, for that love to return. "The Whispering Waves," includes seaside metaphors of starfish, seashells, and whispering waves alluding to betrayal.

The jazzy "Wooden Nickels" opens with piano and a duo of tenor and low baritone vocals that sound straight out of an opera.

The final track "I Miss You" is the more modern, simple and angsty song about missing someone who has disappeared. The lyrics "A year has passed since I've said goodbye to you, but you are still here," bring the concepts of the entire album all together to sum up the common factor of longing for someone you simply cannot reach.

This second release for Beep Beep off of Saddle Creek Records is a shining piece for the band. Following an off-beat, sporadic, yet entertaining sound, Enchanted Islands offers the kind of unique music that many are searching for these days. And as they head off on tour with the record along for the ride, their future looks to be quite promising.

Check out some songs from the album, and tour dates at Beep Beep's myspace, or visit Saddle Creek to purchase the brand new album.


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