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melo 035
7" Single

eve of the battle
flying under cheap kites

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eve of the battle
the isles

Melodic's first major import is a rather exciting one for the label, because not only does it involve transporting a little piece of New York to uptown Manchester, but putting onto acetate simply one of the most stirring new acts we've come across in a long, long time.

These are The Isles, and it's only right that their musical home ought to be based in such a spiritual hotbed of song, because although the sound is unquestionably gritty Americana, it's clear that their roots grew out of a solid Brit-pop bedrock. They're a curious mid-Atlantic accent of a band, well versed in the great traditions of leathery New York rock n' roll but also keenly aware of their own musical heritage.

First and foremost though, they're New Yorkers with a steel-eyed belief in what they do. Even their living arrangements are part of their creative axis. Says Andrew, 'Ben, Chris, and I live in a house in the LIC neighborhood of New York City. It's 3 floors and a basement. I wanted a house that could function as a headquarters for playing music so when I saw this amazing place with a basement I sprang on it'. Transplanting ideas from the big hitters of classic UK pop throughout the decades (The Beatles, The Smiths, Blur) but also artists such as Guided By Voices and Neil Young, The Isles are perhaps more aware than their contemporaries of their heritage across the pond.

So although The Isles aren't afraid of sitting atop the wave of Eighties re-invention within pop at the moment, the angle they take it at is a curious one indeed, casting it against the backdrop of New York's recent finest and their predilection for chiming guitars and edgy rhythm. Explains Andrew: 'What makes us different is our restraint in using the style to define the band rather than the songwriting. We work hard on writing strong melodies and are cautious in using power and extreme dynamic changes to make a song exciting'.

That's not to say that they can't chorus. Eve Of The Battle switches from Bunnymen to Strokes with the change of a chord, whilst Flying Under Cheap Kites revels in its excess of melody and discothèque-style backbeat.

The album they're in the process of making will be put together in their home environs, lending to that cabin-fever intensity which propels the single so, but in the meantime The Isles are looking forward to being part of a bigger future. 'It's a very exciting time. I think a lot of great pop music is being made by 'indie' bands right now. What seems to be happening is independent music is refining itself into something more universal; bands are coming out with their masterpieces as they grow in popularity'.

We're more than sure that The Isles will fit nicely into their own prediction. Eve Of The Battle isn't so much a call to arms as a sounding bugle of fierce potential, a warning that you'd better take heed or miss the boat completely.

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