Once upon a time there lived a band called The Unicorns. They made strange and beautiful music. But like so many good things, they died far too young. Music lovers across the world mourned their death until one day, out of the ashes, a new band was born. That band was called Islands, and while they were different in many ways, they kept alive the spark that made The Unicorns so special.

OK, enough of the romantic narrative. The emergence of Islands was indeed an exciting time. For the Unicorns fans amongst us, it promised a continuing source of their quirky pop music. That was, more or less, what we got. Islands debut album, Return To The Sea, was a mixed bag of goodies, featuring everything from a rap battle to an epic 9-minute opening track. While it wasn't groundbreaking, it was a heap of fun and certainly proved that The Unicorns' spark was alive and kicking.

Two years later, they have returned with their second album, Arm's Way. I've actually had it for well over a month, but it's taken me this long to work out how I feel about it. In the end, it appears the band has broken free of their Unicorn origins and really established themselves as a separate entity. Now if you've been reading the above paragraphs, you may take this to be a bad thing, but I think it's for the best. Whereas the first album was hit and miss, this one consistently delivers. When you stop and think about it, it sounds little like The Unicorns, but this is irrelevant. It is still fun, intelligent pop music that's well worth a listen.


And if you're interested, you should still check out their first album as it definitely has its moments, including this brilliant opener that I mentioned eariler:

Swans (Life After Death)

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