From its fucking bizarre opening of a meek voice whimpering “hello children” you know that this isn’t really going to be a mentally comfortable ride. There are weird sounds abound, the most baffling of which being singer Eric Bemberger’s stratospheric pitching of his vocal chords.
It’s been a damn rough ride for Beep Beep since 2005’s ‘Business Casual’. With only original member Eric Bemberger remaining from the fallout of job responsibilities, and Chris Hughes leaving almost as soon as recording of Enchanted Islands was wrapped up, they’ve had to find new members that fit into their bizarre clique, a task that was hard enough first time round.
Enchanted Islands often comes across, perhaps unsurprisingly, as rather disjointed and erratic. Guitars seem to wander far and away of their own accord, as vocals jump into a hot air balloon and ascend far into the sky. There are moments when the dissonance comes together however: ‘The Whispering Waves’ manages to find its feet with a driving, country-esque riff that sews up the moments of stargazed wandering.
Throughout a battle ‘twixt verbose guitar lines and catchy riffs rages, in the most melancholy sense of the word . ‘The Lions Mouth’ dissipates into nothingness, but ‘Secrets For The Well’ has echoes of a completely mashed !!! to it, such is the funky, careless groove of both instruments and vocals. But it often becomes very difficult to build up a fondness for such a schizophrenic piece of work, and as the album just tips into its second half things begin to drag on.
It’s difficult to fall in love with Enchanted Islands. Its turbulent development process is ever-present, creating a shifty collage of tracks that don’t sit well together and often appear to be trying just a bit too hard to raise eyebrows. In its favour however there are some blissful moments where the erratic nature of things comes together just quick enough to put a smile on your face, and its these which make the album worth at least a little bit of your time.
Originally published on The Line Of Best Fit.