A pure adrenaline rush, the Isolations embody the sheer power, brute force and infinite catchiness of garage rock on their intense self-titled debut. Rock the way it should be theirs is an unruly beast gesticulating wildly. The band plays off each other’s strengths and the interplay have a fantastic, freeform style to it all. Quite a bit of power can be attributed to the sound which sounds far larger than the trio size would suggest. From the plate shifts of the drummer Aaron to the rumbling bass of Peter Arvidson, the rhythm section is a true beast. Lead vocalist Chris Margolin brings this all home with a voice that rises above the rest of the din.
Their fondness for grunge appears readily apparent. One can hear traces of the Meat Puppets at the height of their powers, for theirs possesses a similar haunting beauty behind it. With the lo-fi aesthetics they draw from Car Seat Headrest in terms of the sheer velocity of their sound for they at no point make it mellow, instead going hard into that good night. Layer upon layer is applied with such care making sure that the songs have a density to them with every possible flourish brought into their gravitational pull. At certain times they even flirt with a more hardcore aesthetic but unfortunately shy away from this impulse most of the time when they should really simply embrace that additional chaos.
Not a moment is wasted for they dive headfirst into thick guitar riffs with the western twang of “Chasing Demons (feat. Stephan Hawkes)”. With a hardcore style reminiscent of Hüsker Dü they burn through the track’s duration. Heavy to its core “All This Smoke” shows off the drums for they hit in a pure frenzy. One of the gentler tracks emerges on the spacious ode of “Kill The Rabbit” with vocals that have a ghostly presence that feels quite similar to early Alice in Chains. Gorgeous sprawling patterns define “The Martyr and the Fool” featuring a nice ebb and flow from a pure aural onslaught to quieter moods.
Lyrics have a tenderness with the lovely “The Phoenix”. Impressive storytelling ties together the thought-provoking “Mountain Tongue”. From the first impulse of slight feedback “Gaslit and Jaded” serves as the highlight of the album. Purely muscular the track crushes absolutely everything in its path. A wonderful buildup takes pace on the breakneck speeds of “The Sideshow”. Unleashed fury comes into focus on “Suicide by Semantics”. Bringing the whole of the album to a fantastic conclusion comes the joyous finale of “My Dear”.
With an infectious energy to it, the Isolations’ self-titled effort shows off their intrepid skill in crafting a sonic universe that possesses such depth to it.