The Islands

The UnicornsCourtesy of Anti-Records

The Islands “Creeper”

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The Unicorns aren’t real. They’re dead. Gone. Finished. Extinct. A band that at one point in 2004 had the whole indie community at their feet is now one best kept locked in your memory and away from the public eye.

How could this happen?

Perhaps it was the fact that Nicholas Thorburn of Islands – and formerly, The Unicorns – started cursing at the top of his lungs “holy f—k!” when asked by a fan about his former band that tipped you off. Maybe it was the public hostility against fans during their Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone Tour that got you thinking that The Unicorns were dead. Or maybe it was the even more obvious giant banner on their website, which appropriately read: “THE UNICORNS ARE DEAD, (R.I.P.)” I suppose any of those could be a subtle clue towards The Unicorns demise – their break-up marked one of the ugliest indie-scene debacles in the 21st century.

But out of the ocean of turmoil comes Islands, a band that still retains many of the lovable goofy pop attributes that made “that other band” so wonderful to listen to. In remembering The Unicorns, we can honor their death with some of the zaniest and darkest tunes Thorburn has produced since The Unicorns departure.

Islands’ newest single, “Creeper,” is an instant dance hit, coupled with a deep, booming bass and an awfully catchy lead guitar progression. The song reminds the listener of a combination of lyrics from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” psychedelic instruments from an Of Montreal song, and produced with glazy reverbs by James Murphy. With lyrics as exciting as they are dark (“creeper in my home / crawling through the window / grabbed the kitchen knife / couldn’t stick it in though”), Islands perfects a burlesque sort of song, one rife with energy and hooks. The juxtaposition of bright, bubbly sounds with mysterious, sinister lyrics creates a truly unique bit of pop glory.

How this happiness came out of the catastrophic ending of The Unicorns is beyond me. But nevertheless, Thorburn and company continue to produce. Islands newest album, Arm’s Way, drops May 20th.

–By Asst. Entertainment Editor Geoff Schorkopf

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