Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., Nov. 14, 2008
IslandsWaterloo Park, Nov. 9
"This is Islands time," bandleader Nick Thorburn announced from the stage. Decked out mostly in black, the Montreal fivepiece (one violinist mysteriously absent) plunged into opener "Kids Don't Know Shit" from this year's Arm's Way. Bouncing from "Creeper" and a fierce "Pieces of You," buoyed by Patrice Agbokou's bass clarinet, to marching orders "The Arm," the band burst into the calypso from 2006 debut Return to the Sea, which was when the crowd started hollering. "Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby," enjoyable enough in name despite its hula beat, merged into a rockin' version of "J'aime Vous Voire Quitter." Islands' strength is in its ability to maneuver several genres, adapting easily to any, but when a guitar blast comes up against the trite synth pop of "Rough Gem," it's all whiplash. It seems the pre- and post-Jamie Thompson versions of Islands have hit a rough patch and might need to be permanently separated.