Isles & Glaciers – The Hearts of Lonely People EP
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Record Label: Equal Vision
Not many groups have gotten the kind of buzz and attention that Isles & Glaciers have received over the course of the past year. But then again, not many groups feature two of the best vocalists in the scene. The captain of this ship is former Chiodos vocalist Craig Owens, who enlisted the talents of Jonny Craig (Emarosa), Vic and Mike Fuentes (Pierce The Veil), Brian Southall (The Receiving End of Sirens), Nick Martin (Underminded/Cinematic Sunrise), and Matt Goddard (Chiodos). Together they make the super-scene-group, Isles & Glaciers, and after months of anticipation, they have released their debut Equal Vision EP, The Hearts of Lonely People.
Produced by Casey Bates, The Hearts of Lonely People is built around the three vocalists (Owens, Craig, and Fuentes) unique talents, thus regulating everything else to background noise. Not that this is bad thing. The vocals are incredible throughout; even the generally grating voice of Fuentes doesn’t hurt the overall sound. The combination of Owens’ tenor and the way Craig complements it results in beautiful harmonies and transitions.
The first two tracks, “Kings and Chandeliers” and “Hills Like White Elephants,” work as single piece of work. With an intro that mimes something from Danny Elfman’s playbook, the second track takes off immediately with Owens’ voice dominating the scene. Again, the vocal teamwork between Owens and Craig is an auditory treat. “Clush” is the poppiest song on the EP, but it still maintains an aggressive edge. Originally conceived as a Pierce The Veil song, it was transitioned into a track for Isles & Glaciers, so it should be no surprise that this track is heavy on the Vic.
“Empty Sighs and Wine” features great structure, as it’s flooded by Goddard’s lively bass line, Southall’s and Nick Martin’s mastery guitar riffs, and Mike Fuentes drum work, creating a vibrant rush of melody. Craig really shines here as well. In fact, this might be the strongest Craig’s voice has ever been. The somber seven-minute closer, “Cemetery Weather,” is very electronic-based and works more as a showcase of the band’s vocal talents. The two aforementioned tracks here give a glimpse of how good this project could be if the band members were able to dedicate more time to it.
The fact is Craig Owens is one of the most creative and ambitious musicians in the scene. Sure, his removal from Chiodos probably still disappoints fans, but let’s face it, that band was holding back Owens' creativity. Isles & Glaciers, along with Jonny Craig, the Fuentes brothers and crew, is the grandiose sound Owens has been striving for. The Hearts of Lonely People EP makes me wish that Owens and Craig would just drop what they are doing and create a full-time band together. Their luscious harmonies are what make this EP what it is; their voices distract you from the above average-to-average song structures and encompass your ears. The Hearts of Lonely People EP truly is one of a kind, thanks in large part to the vocals. Really, there is no other band out in the scene right now that is like Isles & Glaciers. It’s shame that this might be the only material we ever get from this group.
I've been listening to this on a loop for a week. I completely agree with this sentence, "Craig really shines here as well. In fact, this might be the strongest Craig’s voice has ever been." I thought the same thing on my first listen :) Good stuff. Great review.