steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Destruction Island

"Colonial Surf" LP

Rural Wolf

Genre: indie rock

Tacoma, WA

October 2009

I liked this Tacoma fourpiece's debut album, so when this beautiful slab of sky-blue vinyl came through the mail slot, I'll admit my curiosity was piqued. Like their last record, Colonial Surf exudes a warm Counting Crows influence, although it frequently delves into moments of harder rock. The result is a throwback to the sort of rootsy alternative rock that was big in the mid- to late-nineties, infectious in spirit and delivery.

Interestingly, I found Colonial Surf a lot less immediate than its predecessor - to me, the recording sounds a little less dynamic, and the hooks don't sink in as quickly. Still, there are many inviting songs on this solid record. "The Thief That You Are" is a blazing fun time, made sublime by way of an utterly resplendent bridge, while Counting Crows inspired "Virginia Weston" is an impressively dynamic and varied track that grips the listener's attention firmly. Though the band certainly can rock, they also like to slow things down for the occasional folksy ballad, as on downtrodden "Heckler Hunted by Canines" and iconic campfire ditty "Half a Mile to Hopeless." The rest of the record is a tad inconsistent, with several sinkers ("The Queen's Finest Laundry Boy," "In Tandem") as well as many notable moments. The band certainly hasn't released its masterpiece yet, but Colonial Surf is another fine diversion along the way.

destruction island's myspace

"The Thief That You Are" live

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]