Jet lag is one of those things that you don’t believe exist until you’ve experienced it yourself. You can read about other people having it in the newspaper or whatever and it sounds like something cooked up by the middle classes to try and give them something to moan about whilst leading their sepia-tinged jet-set lifestyles and funding their offspring’s cocaine habits. It might sound bitter, but that’s just the grinding of the body clock struggling to adapt back to GMT, one of the many ‘back to reality’ sensations experiences one is forced to go through after 10 weeks in the wilderness. Whilst the grim ordeals of the job centre may haunt, it’s a fair swap for having last.fm back, dictating all that is well and good in music.
If you’ve not got a last.fm, get one. If you’ve got one and you’re not taking advantage of it’s recommendation system, you’re massively missing out. Based on everything you’ve played, it tells you what you’re statistically likely to be a fan of, given what similar users listen to. Of course, the system is far from perfect, and it’s insistence that Mumford & Sons should be in my library still irks, but the mistakes are more notable due to their rarity rather than their abundance. Only today, it set about reminding me of a band who’ve popped up a few times on shuffle.
Likened to Best Coast, Brilliant Colors and Fungi Girls, San Diego two piece Christmas Island tick all the boxes in glorious style. Hints of Beach Boys-esque grooves are well hidden beneath layers of dark riffs and stripped down percussion. The DIY ethic is written all over their debut effort, Blackout Summer, and it really pays off. At best, it sounds as though the soundtrack to a Tony Hawks game has finally grown up and started aiming itself towards people who actually care about music rather than teenagers hoping to be misunderstood.
The songs are carefree romps with little attention paid towards the quality of vocals, though it’s noticable just how much the band have cleaned up the distortion on their first proper album. Whilst the demos are distorted and sound as though the recording equipment is struggling under the strain of recording, Blackout Summer is pretty much as crisp as you could hope for. It’s an interesting approach, and is pretty much the band admitting that the ‘lo-fi’ moniker thrust upon them was probably less an aesthetic choice rather than a necessity. Either way, they’re still ridiculously good, and any opportunity to see them should be snapped up, though tours outside the U.S. seem unlikely. Promoters of the U.K., do your job.
Christmas Island – I Don’t Care (demo)