Fang Island's "Major"
- Article by: Sean Maloney
- Posted: 07/23/2012
The first question that hits you when listening to Fang Islands new LP Major, right after the instrumental keyboard introduction of “Kindergarten” but before you get to the bridge of “Sisterly,” is “Have we entered a new golden age of progressive guitar-pop?” While our Top 40 may be as regressive and debased as music can get *cough Chris Brown cough* there seems to be a resurgence of bands that are willing to push envelopes and grasp for musical complexity and ingenuity while still keeping their guitars turned loud. By the time the squealing guitarmonies and choral vocals of “Make Me” come out of your speakers, there's no question about it: the new golden age of prog-pop is upon us and Fang Island are leading the charge.
Major is an album that draws much of its energy and excitement from its own complexities, rather than letting its inherent complexity drag it down into the dull and self-congratulatory exercises in musical wankery. The interplay between guitar, bass, voice and drums veers from straightforward, simple and surf-y on the big-room rave-up “Asunder” to ornate and majestic on tracks like “Chimes Out” and joyously poppy on “Regalia,” but the musicians never crowd each other out, and no one ever takes too much of the spotlight. Where so much of prog-pop becomes a repository for rampant egomania, Major goes in the opposite direction to create a beautiful and forward-thinking rock ’n’ roll record with a sound as big as its ambition.