As I’m figuring out the exact ordering of my top 10 of 2012, here are the five albums that didn’t quite make the cut. These are in no particular order.
Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
I had tickets to see them last night in San Francisco, but I wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t go. I think that’s telling. It’s a solid album, but if I can’t even work up the energy to go see them, it probably doesn’t belong in my top 10. Don’t believe the Pitchfork review on this one— it’s worth your time.
Fang Island - Major
I’m almost certain to regret not putting this in my top 10, but their sophomore effort just didn’t have the same sense of URGENT HAPPINESS that their self-titled had. There are obviously some exceptions, but I hoped for something more. Still, they are Fang Island, and they are a fantastic band.
Passion Pit - Gossamer
It’s basically “Manners 2.” Fine with me, but not quite deserving of a top 10 spot.
Twin Shadow - Confess
Killer album, but the dude needs to stop writing books. There’s no good reason for this one not being on my top 10, except that there are 10 better albums. I guess that’s a good reason, then.
Kanye West presents G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer
I adore this album, but after last year’s “Watch the Throne” and 2010’s MBDTF, I can’t give Kanye the satisfaction of getting on my end-of-year list with (essentially) an album of club-bangers.
“The Brooklyn party-rock trio Fang Island are about to return with their new album Major, the follow-up to their self-titled 2010 breakout. And “Asunder,” the first track we’ve heard from the album, is a triumphant riff-rocker that sounds like a pure sugar-rush rendered in musical form.” - Stereogum
”..With an aim to create an effort of non-stop, mega-sized hooks, the band is certainly off to a proper start with the album’s first song, “Asunder”. It’s a majestic bit of prog rock, with grandiose guitars that dart up and down and anthemic vocals that swell with emotion without losing their Zen-like balance. - Consequence of Sound
“When Brooklyn-based party-starters Fang Island named their new album Major, we were fairly certain that it would offer hyper-caffeinated, unrepentantly sunny pump-up tracks. Those suspicions have now been confirmed by the arrival of the single “Asunder.” Much like the material from the band’s 2010 debut, “Asunder” is a surge of sugar-addled adrenaline that’s lead by climactic drums, overdriven guitar licks and repetitive, chant-like vocals.” - Exclaim!
“If you were worried that the gap between their debut album and their new album would lead to change in direction, fear not; this is the Fang Island we love. Listen to ‘Asunder’ and prepare to kick the living crap out of the air around you.’ - 405
In honor of Halloween, we are giving away all day today Fang Island’s debut LP !! Nobody loves Halloween more than those guys so we thought it appropriate. So if you don’t already have it? Or you love it please share the wealth and tell your friends to get it today! FREE ends at Midnight…
This is one of my two or three favorite albums from the last few years, so don’t miss this chance to grab it for free.
Or, really, you should probably pay for it. It’s way too good not to pay for.
Instant chills, courtesy of Mr. Nate Ruess. I first heard this song via this video (also amazing) when I was in Budapest in Fall ‘09, and still, it blows me away. Most of my music-savvy friends love (not like) fun. and The Format, so it kind of surprises me that they aren’t, y’know, more successful. The two bands that I pimp more than any others are Fang Island and fun. Regardless of how many listeners they have, they both deserve orders of magnitude more.
Fang Island is how art school students rebel against art school. First off, it’s hard to believe there exists a band that plays pop-punk instrumental math-rock that, if represented as a graph on the Cartesian plane, would show pretension and quality in an inverse function. It is equally confounding and refreshing that a band that started as an art project at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design would have the gall to take their name from a fictional place featured in an Onion article.
It’s possible that Fang Island guitarists Nick Sadler and Jason Bartell could have gotten away with describing themselves as pioneers of the re-appropriation of arena rock. They could argue that, much in the same way that Girl Talk allows hipsters to unironically appreciate radio rap, Fang Island provides a prism through which to enjoy all the anthemic qualities of a band like Boston or Journey. However, they would never say that, which simultaneously reinforces that they are the best art project ever and makes me a douchebag for trying to intellectualize something so pure and fun.
Sadler and Bartell lent Crawdaddy! some time out of their busy schedules to provide insight into Fang Island’s origins, new musical direction, and bold sartorial decisions.