EARLY BIRD TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE FOR WHISKEY BUSINESS - BUY YOURS TODAY!

Islands 

With Cadence Weapon and Busdriver. Thursday, May 18, at the Grog Shop.

When multi-instrumentalist Nick Diamonds and drummer J'aime Tambeur played with Montreal's the Unicorns, they charmed listeners with lo-fi keyboards, rudimentary riffs, and frill-free hooks. Islands, their new group, proves the Unicorns' minimalist approach stemmed from manpower limitations, rather than narrow vision. Opening with a nine-minute opus that includes lyrical and musical Unicorns references, Return to the Sea, Islands' debut disc, incorporates violins, triangles, and lap steel into a mix of folk, hip-hop, country, psychedelic prog, and calypso.

The band never lets its compositional ambition compromise its catchiness or obscure its playful nature. Diamonds' arch wordplay remains intact -- "Rough Gem" touts his own surname rather than decrying the mining conditions in Sierra Leone -- but he's also capable of strikingly romantic couplets: "Millions of sunsets, but the one I'll remember/The one where you told me you'd love me forever." In concert, group members wear all-white outfits and get as gleeful as Polyphonic Spree, zealously clapping hands and perching on one another's shoulders. This stage-straining septet expands again when Busdriver (he rapped over Diamonds and Tambeur's live Unicorns instrumentals in the short-lived project Th' Corn Gangg), the opening act, replicates his Return to the Sea cameo.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Andrew Miller

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park Concert Series @ Happy Days Lodge

    • Wed., Sept. 26, Wed., Oct. 3, Sun., Oct. 14, Sun., Nov. 4, Sun., Nov. 11 and Fri., Nov. 16
  • Bartók and Prokofiev @ Severance Hall

    • Thu., Sept. 27
  • Tony Rock @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Sept. 27

© 2018 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation