Detach the Islands – The Burden to Become Fact

This is one of those reviews were there could be a hundred different bands tagged for the sake of comparison and a hundred different genres stuck in for SEO purposes too. Detach The Islands‘ debut record, The Burden To Become Fact, was born from one maniacal musician’s mind, pulling together a rag-tag crew of NY peers and assembling a violently powerful hardcore band capable of grinding, blasting, tinkering, and swinging guitars around bodies to create a deeply eclectic sound; one you can imagine tearing holes in venue walls with the heads of their instruments, and fronting bills from the same venues from people tearing light fixtures from the ceilings with their teeth.

The Burden To Become Fact has fantastic replayability which is surprising considering how jarring and unsettling this chaotic half-hour can be. Some of the remarkable structuring and creative use of panned guitars and layer upon layer of dynamic vocal tracks can be missed the first time around. That’s not a dig at Emmett Ceglia, the brain behind the music and lyrics – not to mention the stick-wielding lunatic responsible for some of the most drastic d-beating found on the Upper Crust Side of the band’s East Coast home. There’s so much going on between the fantastically panned guitars (rhythm on the left tucked a bit further back in the mix, “lead” on the right doing all the bananas shit and dimension-splitting melodies) and Ceglia’s wonderfully creative percussion that you might get lost keeping track of the frantic vocal patterns that spray all over the chaotic hardcore underneath. A second listen is required to pick up on this stuff, during which there’s time pick up your lower mandible from the floor.

The title track has so much going on in under three minutes that it’s okay if you missed the playful hi-hat manipulations or the syncopated groove rocking over what is effectively a simple time signature. “Refugee Anatomy” might be the most replayable track on the whole record, with a down-stroke riff and a simple counter-melody that simply demands to come back in later on. Spoiler alert: it does. It could have come back in again at the end and absolutely no one would complain. It’s that gratifying. When the main riff from “Love Is The Miracle We Fabricate” kicks back in at the end, I screamed. The transition back in is so seamless and effortless, it’s almost criminal. It was several listens in before I heard the different voices, panned between each side on that same track; another playful element of the band’s sound that confirmed how uniquely creative the textures and dynamics on this record are.

The Burden To Become Fact needs to be celebrated for achieving a truly eclectic sound with only the common instruments and tools found in any old rock band. Detach The Islands have no need for orchestral sections, asinine skits, or row upon row of synthesizers and keyboards – the band create multifaceted hardcore with just strings, skins, and vocals, and an effects pedal or two, achieving a more manic ‘mathcore’ sound that 99% of all the bands operating under that tag today. At a time when everyone’s looking for ‘the next big thing’ (the next big Dillinger, let’s be honest), this one better not slip under the radar of those clamouring for beautifully structured chaos. Majestically creative, simply superb.

The Burden to Become Fact is available now via Bandcamp.

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The longer the note, the more dread