Be the first to say Islet have gone shit with this, their debut physical release. They haven’t of course; ‘Celebrate This Place’ wedges more gonzoid invention and splattered ideas into its six songs than most bands’ careers squared. It feels weirdly pointless to fill in the backstory, of members’ previous time in periodically decent Cardiff bands like Attack + Defend, Victorian English Gentlemens Club and Fredrick Stanley Star, so let’s go with the fevered opinions of all the other blogs and publications: Islet is the Real Deal Hot Shit, and to see them live is to be caught in several hurricanes of demented screaming and drum-based exorcisms. The hype machine gets it right sometimes.
Given the hair-on-fire intensity of Islet gigs it’s probably for the best that ‘Celebrate This Place’ isn’t purely an attempt to bottle lightning; even so, opener ‘We Shall Visit’, with its slow accumulation of weirdo vocal lines, sounds initially like a red herring. After a few listens though its great itchy momentum reveals itself, as well as a luminous three note guitar hook. ‘Iris’ is your pop art money shot: room-filling low end keyboard crankiness like Oneida, mangled, buzzing guitar and genuinely strange banshee vocals splurge in and out of a killer, lopsided jam. By now you can see the Islet components: all members pitching in frazzled instrumentation and vocals like a collective (or a cult), odd noise explosions and clattering percussion everywhere. So we have ‘One Of These Worlds’, which fits in a trippy, enveloping intro, reedy psych organ, shrill guitar and a carny waltz section; and the awesome abstract monster called ‘Jasmine’, mutant autistic disco bassline and ghostly wailing bringing to mind ace krauty boogie boys Tussle. Everything crackles with homemade charm, a million ramshackle pieces held together by mad-eyed determination. ‘Celebrate This Place’ is a mad and brilliant junk shop trawl, and you should scrabble over dead indie kids to get a copy.