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Arm's Way (Explicit)

by Islands
Arm's Way by Islands
Released: May 2008
Label: Anti/Epitaph
How do you go from Beach Boys pop to calypso to Queen to dance punk to Mars Volta to orchestral rock ... in one album? Strike that -- in one song? Listen to Arm's Way and you'll get a good idea. In a similar vein as their Montreal amis Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade, Islands create a bedlam of playful arrangements rolled up in a tidy package. Flourishing with cascades of hooks, classical strings, bluesy buildups and theatrical harmonies, the approach may be eccentric but the flow is silky smooth. Forget which track is what; this is an album to experience in its entirety.
Stephanie Benson