Showing up on the scene with an idea and style that is astonishingly innovative, young band IIIZ aim to blow minds with their EDM music and emphasis on their live performances (we’re talking lasers and CO2 cannons). But not a group who will be pinned to one descriptor, their self-titled debut record also dabbles in indie and post-punk sounds without ever loses the energy.
First track and single “Get Away” features Sen Dog of Cypress Hill and is immensely fun. The beat and instrumental melody is well-conceived and excellently executed, and the repetition of “I can not get away” gets almost instantly stuck in your head. “Manic Pixie” seems to engage in that EDM tradition of tangling and untangling an array of sounds. “The Light” is the antithesis of this, more elegant and optimistic.
“Sugar” and “Cure” are album highlights. These tracks delve into indie vibes and simplified melodic focuses with a grace that is almost unexpected considering the weighty electronic pulsing that is present on much of the album. “Sugar” emphasizes the skillful percussion that is present throughout, and “Cure” has a melody you can feel in your bones. This is proof of versatility that is necessary on a debut.
Perhaps it’s Ison Van Winkle and Mari Brossfield’s raw, deep, and retro post-punk vocal styles that bring that multi-levelled nostalgia to music that is undoubtedly current, but IIIZ manage to collect musical styles in a fresh and interesting way. (For more proof, their cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” can be found here.) This album feels like a sampler, a spectrum of choices for the group to move in, and it’s difficult not to be excited to see what they continue with. From the lyrically stunning territory of “Man In The Background” to the total rock of “Want”, IIIZ can’t go wrong from here.