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Gentle Firefly Radio

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Album Review

Give Isle of View credit for fighting against the mid-2000s' heavy current of harsh metalcore with a debut album comprised predominantly of unapologetically melodic pop-punk. Even better, while Isle of View borrow heavily from the likes of Green Day and MXPX for their taught riffs, concise arrangements, and impressively hooky choruses, they never resort to pussyfying themselves on the scale of a Good Charlotte or other such commercial jingle-punkers. Not even close, as they proceed to showcase a far broader range of influences and continually raise expectations as their first album, Gentle Firefly Radio, gradually unfolds. First it's the odd splashes of organs and synths inserted into tracks like "Fall Asleep and Die" and "Tombstone," then the mild-mannered acoustic guitars heard on "One Too Many" and the wistful "Train Tracks," and finally their drenching of yet others ("Blue Ribbon Shoes," "I Don't Know," "Ransom," etc.) with gallons of Beatlesque vocal harmonies. Taking it a step further, "Angelwings" opens with a patch of Queen-like choirs and features bouncy handclaps laying its source somewhere between Redd Kross and Jellyfish. But perhaps even more shocking are the occasional guitar solos on hand. Was it suggested that this is simply a punk record? Then add a Cheap Trick influence as well, because this is not simply a punk rock album. Clearly, Isle of View's very versatility could be their biggest enemy: too commercial for hardcore extremists, too refined for pop-punk boy bands. But let's hope not — this is a fine debut.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Baltimore, MD's Isle of View first formed in early 2002 and, by the release of their 2005 debut album, Gentle Firefly Radio (featuring a power pop-punk style drawing comparisons to Green Day, MXPX, and Ridel High), was comprised of vocalist Tim Tucker, lead guitarist Nik Tyler, rhythm...
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Gentle Firefly Radio, Isle of View
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