Economy Island (Twistworthy)
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Nov. 25, 2016
Now that the Eighties New Wave revival is winding down, time to jump back to the first half of the next decade. Austin's Economy Island unabashedly mines the sound of the early Nineties, when college rock evolved into alternative and that term hadn't yet become a marketing gimmick and radio format. Made up, like so many homegrown alt-rock acts, of musicians from punk backgrounds (including Bum Out, SpiderCobra, and Adults), EI stamps bristling energy and DIY ethics into vinyl revolving around warm distortion, hazy vocal melodies, and guitar hooks of easy virtue. Chunky power-pop tunes à la "Keychain" and "The Mountain" dominate, taking advantage of singer Richi Fatheree's reedy winsomeness and the yin/yang of his and John Christoffel's guitar work. The latter finds fullest flower on "Typically Weak," an extended take on alternative rock tunefulness that features plenty of six-string magic without flash or fury.