Islander’s Violence and Destruction reminds me of the first time I heard P.O.D.’s Fundamental Elements of Southtown or Deftones’ Around the Fur. It was “different,” like the moment when Heroin Bob introduces Stevo to punk rock for the first time. You found something you could listen to, every day, for months.
Islander has those SoCal rock elements in their sound, but here on their debut release, they make them their own. The songs are heavy, but carry a melody. Its got catchy hooks: “You’re not out for blood / You only want what’s beautiful / You’re not out for blood / You’re in love with truth / I want to be more like you.” Vocalist Mikey Carvajal’s vocal range is a perfect blend of singing and rap-sing vocals, commonly heard from vocalists like his forebearers, Chino Moreno and Sonny Sandoval. Carvajal may have even perfected the style sooner than when we first heard those pioneer bands.
Violence and Destruction will be able to hold its own for years. If their path is anything like the rise we saw from when their roots first jumped on the scene, they will have no trouble getting over the sophomore slump. The only hard thing they’ll have to overcome is how to write a better record than this one.