Division Day

Beartrap Island

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    7
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Division Day offers up an album that is often complex, occasionally tense, but always experimental and adventurous with Beartrap Island. The group wastes no time in creating and exploring a variety of soundscapes that range from delicate and ethereal to dark and threatening. A fine example of the latter is the album's second track, "Ricky," in which lead vocalist and keyboardist Rohner Segnitz uses rapid-fire effects to create an aura of depth and menace; it's a nightmarish chase of a song that seems almost out of place among Beartrap Island's otherwise dreamy tracks. In fact, "Ricky" is enough of an acquired taste that it could chase off those unwilling to see the album through to the end. Once through the storm, however, listeners will be rewarded with songs that are thoughtful and relaxing while also being engaging. Beartrap Island mellows, but it doesn't necessarily slow down. The four members of Division Day are a fine ensemble, working together to ensure that the album's spell isn't broken by out of place riffs or hubris-driven, experimental showboating. The guitar work from Seb Bailey and Ryan Wilson is a spacy, trippy complement to Segnitz's breathy vocals, which manage to evoke both the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and singer/songwriter Elliott Smith at the same time. Segnitz's keyboard skills are also exceptional, at times calling to mind Colm Mac An Iomaire's well-placed violin accompaniment in the Frames. The comparison between the two groups is most evident on "Hurricane," which bears enough resemblance the Dublin indie rockers that one is left wondering if Glen Hansard dropped in on the recording session. "To the Woods" picks up the pace at exactly the album's mid-point and serves as a launching point for Beartrap Island's climax "Reversible," a shimmering, multi-layered gem that brings together some of the best sonic elements of Depeche Mode and the Cure.

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