The positive prog-rock movement that Fang Island helped break last year has been a blast to listen to. With Adebisi Shank’s “This Is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank,” listeners are treated to more of the mostly instrumental, relentlessly fun, technical rock.
The Irish trio made a pretty long album, as these things go: 10 songs taking up 40 minutes. Delicate Steve’s “Wondervisions” only took up 29 minutes with 11 tunes, while Fang Island’s self-titled is just over a half-hour, too. This gives them a lot of room to flesh out ideas, both good and bad.
The whimsically titled “(-_-)” doesn’t have the quotes around it in their artwork, but don’t those look like little ears? The “title” is a good estimation of the playfulness one can expect from the tune, whose layered, complex, but ultimately mellow composition takes a card from Delicate Steve’s book. Opener “International Dreambeat” is pretty much a thank-you to Fang Island for making their genre noticed, as the exuberant, heavy main guitar riff is interchangeable with the latter band’s.
It’s tunes like “Logdrum” where Adebisi Shank makes the noise their own. The unusual sounds throughout the piece (marimba?) find a niche a bit more serious and heady than “everyone high-fiving everyone.” The trio incorporates some bass-heavy funk aspects into their sound in “Century City” and “Frunk,” calling up comparisons to our very own The Non. Not that they know who that is, but whatever. It means something to us.
Oh, and a warning: Yes, “Masa” sounds like something out of “Jock Jams.” Just skip it. Maybe Adebisi Shank has never been to a basketball game. Or maybe this is what they think a basketball game sounds like (which would be interesting, if that were the intended goal).
“This Is the Second Album” is a fun album that fits neatly in the forming positive prog-rock movement. Pick it up March 15 if Fang Island still puts a smile on your face. —Stephen Carradini
MP3: “International Dreambeat”
MP3: “Genki Shank”
Stream the album