Isolation Years – Inland Traveler

Music Reviews Isolation Years
Isolation Years – Inland Traveler

One of many bands to come streaming in from Scandinavia, Sweden’s Isolation Years marry modern-rock gloss with touches of quasi-folk creakiness on their ambitious yet calculated debut. With the powerful vocals, soaring hooks, and vaguely psychedelic arrangements on Inland Traveler, bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and fellow Swedes The Soundtrack of Our Lives are reasonable touchstones. But Isolation Years incorporates far less of the lo-fi fuzz of the former and little of the campiness of the latter. Whether due to the paranoid nature of main lyricists Jakob Mostrom and Jakob Nystrom or simply difficulties in translation, much of the thematic drive behind the album seems to be obscured by oddly stiff imagery, vaguely held together by a puzzling internal logic. And as much as the band seems to be searching for its sonic niche here, the moments where the conventional elements of its sound are augmented by a rousing horn section or a stray accordion put the band on the path to finding it.

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