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FILTER Grade: 81%

By Paula Mejia on September 18, 2013



Ski Mask begins with a proclamation: “I won’t ride another wave”—a strangely definitive statement for a band whose name evokes musings of a leisurely getaway. Fittingly, the record is a leap for a band toying with reconstruction, evidenced by the emotional strain weighing upon songs like “We’ll Do It So You Don’t Have To.” Ski Mask is Islands’ most daring record; indie-pop that’s a little defeated, as though left out in the sun too long. Islands haven’t surrendered completely, although vocalist Nick Thorburn admitted that anger punctuated the record’s lyrical origins. The guys’ penchant for the strange is still refreshingly rampant, from the eerie marimbas of opener “Wave Forms” to the breezy synths of “Death Drive.” The blackened Ski Mask listens like a work in progress about how one would read an unfinished manuscript. Yet with every page turned, it’s a promising step forward towards what Islands are working to become: fulfilled.  


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