HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, THE: Live Fast Get Tropical: CD

The Hawaiian Islands are the type of band that if, for one gleaming moment, the rest of the world could realize how good they are, like with the Hives—they could easily have a radio hit, but then the masses will tire because a genuine rock’n’roll sound with whiffs and hints of society’s underbelly is a novelty for the masses and not the type of music that keeps tripping their collective triggers for the long haul. In the end, the public thinks that the quality of bands like this is to be based on the sum total of one song that happens to get some exposure. That might be bad for the long-term financial security of bands like the Hawaiian Islands, but it’s good for the rest of us because the secret remains ours and the band doesn’t start to suck because they’ve become rich, banal fuckers. And if they ever do begin to suck, it would be for much more understandable reasons. My point: this is a really good record and the Hawaiian Islands have a sound that the masses might find fun for a month or two, but we should not hold that against the band, since every once in a while the masses do, in fact, get it right. And finally, real review elements: this record was a breath of fresh air for me. It’s the sonic equivalent of chewing on a minty bit of gum after drinking a gallon of coffee, thanks to its crisp ‘n’ clean rock sound like that of the Strokes, only good on a thoroughly consistent basis, and with much more primal urgency in the vocals. Would go in the CD changer with: Okay Paddy, the Figgs, the Reddmen, and Menzingers.

 –Eric Carlson (Poison City)