Features | Awards

The Most Reminiscent of Election Day 2004 Award

By Skip Perry | 16 December 2009

Islands :: Vapours
(Anti-; 2009)

Listening to Island’s Vapours is kind of like reliving the 2004 election. Remember those amazing exit polls posted on Drudge Report that showed Kerry leading in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania, among others, despite a consistent Bush lead in October? Against all odds, Vapours starts out with a strong Battles-lite groove that makes you think, hey, this might not suck after all. Sure, those are some lame super-Brit vocals, but good songwriting makes surface weaknesses easy enough to ignore. Then, within the space of a couple tracks, things disintegrate completely into soporific lad rock, a bad combination by any reckoning. As the album rolls on, the continued failure to follow a solid opening with songs of even remotely comparable quality starts to make you think that perhaps the weaknesses are more fundamental than superficial. Before you know it, John King is dissecting the I-4 corridor results while you marvel at the double-tracked Auto-tuned vocals in “Heartbeat” and the reggae-ish thump in “The Drums.” When all is said and done, just like the leaked Drudge exit polls, you take a second look and wonder how you could ever have believed that crap in the first place.