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Nose Bleed Island and the Blood Island Society, More Tales From Blood Island

Album Review


Published August 29, 2007 at 4:00 a.m.


(Bunny Huang Records, CD)

"We kicked their ass / that's right my robot and me / we kicked their ass / 'Cuz we don't like Nazis / And now they're crying / they're crying Nazi tears / and now we're getting blowjobs from their moms."

Got your attention? They certainly captured mine. Those lyrics are from the first singsong chorus of the first track on Nose Bleed Island and the Blood Island Society's new full-length disc More Tales From the Blood Island. Once I finished wiping off the chocolate milk that shot out of my nose onto my computer screen upon first hearing that line, I almost felt ready to listen to this album in a critical light. Almost.

I had originally planned to review this record for last week's paper, but I honestly needed an extra week to wrap my head around what I was listening to. And I mean that in a very good way.

Based in Burlington, Nose Bleed Island is essentially the brainchild of songwriter Mr. Island, though he employs his friends Miss Marbles, Robot, Dracula and Z Bear — he's 11 years old, by the way — on a variety of instruments and synthesizers to create the most bizarrely wonderful experimental pop music this side of The Flaming Lips or They Might Be Giants.

Island's writing is about as quirkily sophomoric as you might expect from the above snippet, or a cursory glance of the track listing. With titles such as "Insect Vasectomy," "I Heart Robot" and "Pizza Planet," it should be fairly obvious that this is not profoundly deep territory. But perhaps that's why it's so brilliant.

Island's lyrics are joyously, deliciously, absurdly silly. But his sleepy delivery and Miss Marbles' child-like backing vocals lend the songs an endearingly innocent quality not unlike that of The Polyphonic Spree — minus the cultish Up With People vibe, of course.

Regardless of the subject matter, Nose Bleed Island craft remarkable pop songs. "Lazy Dreams With Susie Sue" might be the most infectious tune I've heard this year. "Turn On Your Eyes" is delicately beautiful. "When We Won the War" has been stuck in my head for two weeks. Honestly, there's not a bad track on the album. It's hard not to wish there were more than 29 minutes of music on it.

Nose Bleed Island might not be for everybody, but I suppose that's part of their charm. If you've got an open mind and an ear for the unconventional, More Tales From the Blood Island comes highly recommended. Or better yet, check 'em out live this Saturday at Winooski's Monkey House with local beer-rockin' trio Farm and the experimental musings of How to Stay Alive in the Woods. Just don't bring any Nazis — or their moms.