Hear The Track HereSome people complain that I spend too much time speaking about other things in reviews, but these I find interesting as an offshoot to the music. Or, much more often, these thoughts are triggered by the music. I admit therefore that I do love a back story about tracks, even though I am absolutely rubbish at making my own back stories. Avalanche's Mike Foster is - by far - the best back story provider I know but truth to tell, I think Chas Holman (aka 333maxwell) could probably give him a good run for his money. He's always got a lot to say about the tracks he makes, and the almost inhuman speed at which he makes the damn things and I find that helpful in assimilating his music, it has more resonance. As if, judging by past examples, 333maxwell's superlative collection of 'little ditties' could actually handle any more resonance. Although he'll blush to his follicles about this, he is far and away, one of the finest musicians around.
'The whole production (of Island) took me probably 2 hours from scratch to mp3 and it shows.. it's in horrible shape' Chas says in the song comments. Mind you, he always says that and the rest of us scratch our heads in puzzlement because of it. Not for nothing does this man have a string of Must Haves miles long. Featuring the joys of Resonator guitars and (bless) a 1960 Baritone Ukelele, Island is a track Chas wrote on the day that seminal Hawaiian musician Don Ho died. Given all that, you would expect it to have a Hawaiian flavour and indeed it does, mainly from the ukelele although the dobro does add some to that feel too. On the face of it, given that I pretty much disliked most Hawaiian music, I shouldn't have liked this as much as I actually ended up doing.
Despite what Chas says, the track sounds pretty decent, albeit full of ambient sound (intentional or otherwise) and a tad on the sloppy side but that doesn't detract from the relaxed, lazy feel these instruments bring to this kinda cute little song. The real surprise here for me is the vocal. I have compared Chas Holman vocally to Paul MacCartney a great many times and I am sure he is heartily sick of it, but he's not going to believe who I've come up with this time - even I don't. First time I heard this I was walking down the street and I had to stop and listen, the creepy feeling increasing with each line. Fuck me, says I to no-one in particular, the King is dead, Long live the King. It's a well known fact that Americans don't do royalty and yet they do have a king, and it sounds like Chas roped him in to help out on this. Don't believe me? Test it.
Highly Recommended Hawaiian-tinged track with special royal guest.