It’s always impressive when you discover what you thought had to have been the work of at least three, if not four or five, individuals is actually the work of a duo. Isle of Rhodes is the most recent band to provide me with this pleasant surprise.
I’ve had a chance to listen to their forthcoming EP Affirmation Caravan, which comes out next Tuesday, February 11th, and while I suppose you can recognize a core sound based around keyboard and drums, there are other layers and instruments that make each of the four songs feel bigger.
The EP kicks off with a funky blues keyboard line on “Tic Toc.” It grooves nicely before exploding into the chorus of heavy guitars. The lyrics address the passage of time and relationships and memories, and set up a lot of the broader thematic concerns of the EP. Who are we? How do we define ourselves in relation to the world, both nature and the rest of humankind? What do we make of our lives and how do we move forward? You could be excused from getting too philosophical because the music is generally quite engaging and easy to get wrapped up in on its own. “Oceans” is a little murkier and more jittery. “Islands” is the standout to me, though I may be biased from my longstanding love for its video (see below). Like “Tic Toc,” it does an excellent job blending a pleasing verse with a more cathartic and expansive chorus.
The video is a wonderful representation of its message about how the world is much bigger than us – “No man is an island.” The closer and title track “Affirmation Caravan” feels exotic, a little tropical and a little Middle Eastern.
You can check out Isle of Rhodes on the final night of their 4 week residency at Spike Hill (184 Bedford Ave) this Saturday 2/8. It’s a free show at 8:00 PM with doors at 7:30. Also on the bill are Chris Cubeta & the Liars Club, the Winchester Local, and the Marquee.
A few other musical events you ought to consider:
- On Thursday 2/6, Wythe Hotel Cinema (80 Wythe Ave) will host Driftless Recordings artists, who will be spinning jams while their favorite videos and films play on the big screen. 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Free entry with RSVP only. Cash bar and free popcorn.
- On Saturday 2/8, Mutual Benefit will play at Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave) – moved from Rough Trade – with Leapling and Norwegian Arms. It’s $12, 21+, and starts at 9:00 PM with 8:00 PM doors. Get tickets here, and you should check out the video for “Advanced Falconry” below. Quite lovely all around.
- On Sunday 2/9, Trash Bar (256 Grand St) will be hosting Unlocking the Truth, a band of 12 year olds who play metal and hard rock. It sounds like some amazing young talent and should be fun. Also on the bill are Enemy of the State, Autocatalytica, and Cause of Affliction. Show at 8:00. Info here.