I was really excited for Volcano Choir’s debut album. I heard the lead single, “Island, IS,” and got pretty pumped to hear the whole album. So I listened to it. And again. And again. And I was confused. I was not pumped. I was not excited. I was just bored. So much :(. The band is a side project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Chicago band Collections of Colonies of Bees. It just screams art and lacks a whole lot of substance. It was a nice try though! I don’t think the band should go anywhere, just maybe try again. I like them! I just don’t like this album they made. But even though I was bored through the thing, it wasn’t all bad.
“Husks and Shells” opens the album very slowly, albeit very beautifully. The song is simple, and evokes a calm that sets you up for what Volcano Choir is all about. Unfortunately what the band then turns out to be all about is too-long songs featuring minimalistic instrumentals, ambient noise and unintelligible lyrics. Not to compare bands, but it reminds me of Department of Eagles struggling to write an album. Great! I mean, I get that music is an artform, and these guys are just expressing themselves in a unique way, but I’d be lying if I said Unmap is entertaining. It just comes down to that.