Fang Island are: Jason Bartell, Chris Georges, Nicholas Andrew Sadler, Michael Jacober, Marc St. Sauveur
"If this is the arena rock of the future, send me a ticket." — Pitchfork
"A triumphant, heavily riffed, primarily instrumental epic, whiplashing through six minutes of smiling prog jams, and as many tempos as passages, before settling into one last minute of uplifting chants." — Stereogum
"Life-affirming prog guitar anthems." – Seattle Stranger
Fang Island describes its sound as "everyone high-fiving everyone." And, the Brooklyn quintet's anthemic and soaring songs make it quite possibly one of few bands befitting such description.
Its finger-tapping guitar lines, chanted vocals, triumphant harmonies and overall perky songs hearken to the sort of "Total Music" of the Fucking Champs, Jay Reatard, Ponytail, Kraftwerk, Marnie Stern, Thin Lizzy, et al. But, perhaps more so, its songs are like the music in your head at that moment when everything feels just right: that first kiss, that high score on the video game, buying your first small nation in cash… you know, good stuff.
Fang Island began, oddly enough, as an art school project while the band members were attending the prodigious Rhode Island School of Design (also the foundation for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Les Savvy Fav, Six Finger Satellite and some band called the Talking Heads.) According to guitarist Jason Bartell, the goal was to "make music for people who like music." That is, music without irony that harnesses its uplifting qualities. Just like a classic rock song or classical symphony can stir us emotionally, Fang Island exists to unlock that spirit.
Fang Island is guitarist Jason Bartell, bassist Michael Jacober, guitarist Chris Georges, guitarist Nicholas Andrew Sadler, and drummer Marc St. Sauveur. They all share collective group vocal harmonies and the occasional hand claps. While Sadler is also known for his role in the debauched rock band Daughters, it is only his fretboard skill that translates between the two groups.
Self Titled begins appropriately with the sound of erupting fireworks on "Dreams of Dreams" leading into a cascading chorus of ringing guitar notes before the group vocal harmonies chime in with the mantra, "they all are within my reach, they are free." The second song, "Careful Crossers" launches in beneath the vocals with a chorus of gleaming guitar harmonies smeared over the marching, syncopated rhythm section. Elsewhere, tracks like "Sideswiper" hearken to the metal-laced positivity of Andrew WK. "Daisy" sounds like a unique collaboration between the Fucking Champs and Jay Reatard. Throughout the album, it's like listening to the cool version of classic rock — the type of anthemic pop — without the cheesiness — that you wished Journey and Boston could've made.
Fang Island's Self Titled album was released on February 23, 2010 on Sargent House.
Delicate Steve hails from New Jersey and is fronted by DIY musician Steve Marion (who also runs a pretty rad label/collective called Small Boy Pants). Delicate Steve's music takes a bit of a commitment. Because there are no vocals, Delicate Steve makes you work for those sweet pop melodies buried beneath the fuzzy percussive layers of guitars, analog synths, and drums. (Think about if Ratatat only listened to Sung Tongs by Animal Collective) "Butterfly" is a perfect representation of the album Wondervisions. It starts off simple with a good beat and then builds and builds and builds, and then… right when you think its going to end the song just smacks you right in the face. Enjoy!
THE FELIX CULPA
Since their 2002 formation, The Felix Culpa have focused on taking the road less traveled, no matter how long it might take. After delivering a stunning debut (2004's Commitment) and getting written up numerous times in such tastemaking publications as Alternative Press, the band - vocalist/guitarist Marky Hladish, bassist/vocalist Tristan Hammond and drummer Joel Coan - found themselves being courted by numerous labels, all looking to capitalize on the band's uniquely aggressive and starkly beautiful take on art rock. Instead of striking while the iron was hot, the band receded from the spotlight, playing the occasional show - including a run as the backing band for Braid/Hey Mercedes frontman Bob Nanna - and, after picking up guitarist/vocalist Dustin Currier in 2007, beginning the long, arduous process of creating their second album, Sever Your Roots.
Over two years in the making, Sever Your Roots (originally self-released by the Culpa in January 2010) finds the band firing on all cylinders. From the unhinged guitar madness in "Our Holy Ghosts" and the head-spinning drumming of "The Constant" to the scathing lyrics and pummeling rhythms of "An Instrument" to the gorgeous arrangement and soaring chorus of "Apologies," there is nary a flaw to be found over the album's 66-minute run time. Very few musicians can create music even worth listening to these days; even fewer can create art. The Felix Culpa are that rare breed of band who grasp the importance of both melody and dissonance, and Sever Your Roots is a true masterpiece.
2010 has been the busiest year yet for the Culpa; the band have been on the road with the Dear Hunter, Balance And Composure, O'Brother, Sainthood Reps and more, even being invited to Austin, Texas, by Gotta Groove Records to play their showcase during this year's South By Southwest Music Festival. Couple that with a mountain of positive press in response to Sever Your Roots, and it was a no-brainer that the band would once again have labels knocking at their door, with rising indie label No Sleep Records (the Wonder Years, La Dispute) coming out on top. No Sleep will reissue Sever Your Roots this November.
High Noon Saloon
701A E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|