Back in November 2001, hip-hop was still my genre of choice and I was a little too engrossed by the Jay-Z/Nas beef to check out a rock artist screaming about “partying hard.” Being unfamiliar with Andrew WK’s work, I wasn’t that intrigued when I kept reading about Fang Island, an up-and-coming group that shares his penchant for genuinely unpretentious, in your face rock and roll; heavy on the handclaps, heavier on the hooks, and even heavier on the guitars. But after hearing “Daisy,” and the rest of Fang Island’s excellent self-titled debut, I’m thinking it might be time to revisit his work.
Fang Island take their name from Donald Rumsfeld’s fictional hideout in an article by The Onion, and they have such a happy disposition that the chorus to “Daisy” goes “hey that’s alright, yeah that’s ok, hey that’s alright, whoa whoa,” or something along those lines. In a recent interview they described their sound as “everyone high-fiving each other,” and that’s actually a pretty good description. The riffs on Fang Island wouldn’t sound out of place on a Rush album, and at times, it’s even reminiscent of (gulp) hair metal, yet it contains no trace of irony. It’s sort of amazing they haven’t sold a billion records already.
Fang Island does not fit the conventional definition of “indie rock,” to put it mildly, so it’s odd seeing them endorsed on so many blogs. It’s as if they slipped through the cracks and now it’s the web’s job to put them on mainstream media’s radar. So here I am doing my part, pick yourself up a copy of Fang Island, and prepare to do the happy dance.