(Victory Records)

Like a cross between Glassjaw and Deftones, Islander have a sound that is full of dark rhythms, chaotic vocals, and surprising melodies in the midst of aggression. Pains. is the band’s debut EP with Victory Records, and it bleeds real emotion.

The opening track, “New Colors”, is fueled by a swooning chorus and a memorable bridge that leads straight into a barrage of chunky guitars and screams. It is then followed by “Lucky Rabbit (Featuring H.R. of Bad Brains)”, which is the highlight of the EP with its economical lyrics and crazed demeanor throughout. From here, you have the more level headed “Glass”, and the spazzy and jazzy sounding “Big Shot” to bring the album to a close.

Pains. is edgy, destructive, and somehow smooth despite its ripping instrumental work and cracking vocals. When all is said and done, the EP serves as a great label debut that will easily make listeners want to keep an eye out for Islander’s forthcoming LP. (Nathaniel Lay)

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