Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Isis and Aereogramme - In the Fishtank 14 EP (2006)

This short collaboration between Isis and Aereogramme is one of the few Isis albums I was not intimately familiar with. I had always heard that it was mediocre from the Isis faithful, and after listening to it several times I can't disagree with that opinion too much. This EP is only three song, and clocks in at under half an hour.

In the Fishtank 14
was apparently recorded over the course of a weekend while Isis was in Amsterdam. And, given that information, this is a pretty impressive, if inconsistent, EP. The songs are all fairly different from one another, and there doesn't seem to be a thematic thread tying it all together. (Not that this bothers me, but it may be an issue for some folks who like Isis more for their loftier concepts than their music.)

The first track, "Low Tide," is the only song with vocals, and it is also the weakest track by far. While I don't think Aaron Turner's vocals are amazing, I would trade him in a second for the singer that we do get (someone from Aereogramme, I assume). The vocals are high-pitched, whiny, and just straight up saccharine. Fortunately, the singer is nowhere to be found on the rest of the EP.

The second track, "Delial," sounds like an Isis collaboration by way of Acid Bath. It's not bad, but it's derivative and doesn't do anything particularly interesting. It really, really sounds like they ripped off an Acid Bath riff and changed the key. The final track, however, is almost entirely ambient, but it's more dynamic than something like "House of Low Culture" on the Sawblade EP

While this EP may be worth it for the novelty of seeing Isis at their softest and with some incredibly whiny indie rock vocals over their music, I can't recommend it for much else.

Verdict: Fail [4.5/10]

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