When people talk about the return of nu-metal, it’s often in conjunction with bands like King 810 or Cane Hill but, nestled away in some grotty venue somewhere, there are groups like South Carolina noise merchants Islander who are causing all sorts of commotion with their twisted, punky take on the whole nu-metal genre. Power Under Control is their latest offering and, two years in the making, sees the band who are now joined by former Avenged Sevenfolder drummer Arin Ilejay, ready to unleash more of their potent sound onto the alternative music scene.
Now, while people seemed to have put Islander under the new “nu-metal” tag, listening to Power Under Control, there is so much more to their twisted sound as the band pull apart their snotty, downtuned angst then mix up the pieces with all manner of madness. On the one hand, some would describe the sound as disorganised but its the fact that you have no idea what the album is going to hit you with that keeps you on your toes. There are hip-hop beats pummelling away through tracks like opener “Darkness” while tracks like “Better Day” mash up pop-punk, hip-hop beats and slick melodies.
If I’m being honest, it’s all a bit mental, one minute it sounds like Limp Bizkit, one minute it sounds like .letlive then it sounds like Crazy Town. It shouldn’t work, it should sound like a mess but, as the band show on “Devil Red”, the end result of the insane cocktail is quite slick even if it is rooted very firmly in the ’90s alt-metal scene.
HR of punk rock legends Bad Brains adds his unique style to “Think It’s Over” while “Casket” kicks in with the kind of downtuned rumble that fans of the first Korn album will be familiar with. In fact, if you grew up in the era when nu-metal was had firmly taken rooted in the modern music scene and was starting to explore other musical avenues, Power Under Control will have a very familiar, comforting feel to it. To the rest of you, there is no reason on Power Under Control for you not to continue to herald this band as one of the names to watch in the underground music scene.
Power Under Control Track Listing:
02. Bad Guy
03. Green Slime Man
04. Better Day
05. All We Need
06. Devil Red
07. A Boat Going By
09. Think It Over (featuring Bad Brains’ HR)
10. Last Forever
12. Wait for It
Run Time: 42:54
Release Date: August 05, 2016
Check out the track “Darkness”