Reviews

Enchanted Islands

Author: Carly Schramm
04/07/2009 | 30music.com | www.30music.com | Album Review
Quickly reminisce about Beep Beep's debut album, Business Casual...You probably remember the chaotic sound of the abrasive guitar layered underneath the incoherent screaming on tracks such as, "I Am The Secretary" and "Giggle Giggle." If not, you are probably quick to remember the blatantly provocative lyrics that make up the core of the album. Without a doubt, Business Casual was a raw, unrelenting powerhouse of hyperactive new-art-punk. Well, their sophomore release, Enchanted Islands, isn't like that, at all.

The distinctive screams of Business Casual have been toned down, and instead a bothersome falsetto is used to fit the softer tone of Enchanted Islands. Unfortunately, this elevates the album to a painfully awkward level. It seems as if they wanted to go in a new direction stylistically, but also wanted to stay true to their original sound, and this album is the result of their confusion. It's different, but not necessarily in a good way.

If Enchanted Islands was Beep Beep's debut, their sound would be hard to categorize. Yes, there are elements of their new-punk sound ("Mermaid Struggle"), but they also manage to tie in blues, funk, jazz, and country influences ("Return to Me") and it ends up being overwhelming. You know when an idea sounds good at the time, and then later you realize that it was terrible? Well, "Wooden Nickels" is a prime example. The idea to do a duet sounds valid, but when it includes both a high pitched and bass falsetto, you have a problem. And then there was the mistake of randomly throwing in a jazzy sax solo...

The sound of Enchanted Islands jumps around all over the place, drawing from different elements, and truly, it ends up being unfocused and fails to make an impression. Beep Beep are known for their unique sound, and instead of shying away, they should embrace it.

-30-


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