It’s one thing to be a killer rock band. It’s another thing to be a killer rock band and have a lead singer who emulates Rivers Cuomo. Throw in a tenor saxophone and some Michael Jackson covers and you have a recipe for awesomeness. Such is No Island, a wicked five-piece ska/jazz-rock band from Vancouver.
Guitar, bass, keys, drums and saxophone. The final instrument makes the lineup rather unusual and unique, yet makes it sound that much better. It’s a modern indie-rock feel with a splash of big band and 50’s cabaret, yet minus the campiness of the latter. It makes you want to get up and dance, without having to push, mosh or rave. It will at least have your toes off the floor.
Which by the way, happens to be the name of their new EP. Released in May, this two-song delight features the killer tracks “Bad For Business” and “City of Strangers” both of which showcase their brand of “brass-rock”. Lead singer, songwriter and keyboard Andy Rice seems experienced beyond his years with his stage presence, control of the audience and vocal quality. The glasses are also a nice touch.
He is complimented nicely by the vocals of guitarist Keith Sinclair, who co-wrote the second with Rice. (Rice wrote Bad For Business with sax player James Wilfred Martin). Clearly this is a band that is running on all cylinders, thanks to contributions throughout the lineup. They kicked off their tour last week at the Media Club and judging by the reaction they got, I predict they will sell out in more than a few cities.
About those Michael Jackson covers? The did a rousing ska/dance-punk inspired recreation of Jackson’s epic Bille Jean, which had everybody singing along, dancing, grooving and jiving. It really was quite a lovely experience. And it goes really well with a beer or two.
On a side note: No Island closed a show that included my friends Embefield. Not sure what it is about these guys, but they sure do play with good bands. First it was Cocahala and now No Island. All three bands will go far.
You can check out No Island’s “Off the Floor” here:
Also, another fun Michael Jackson cover:
“Off The Floor: was released May, 2013.
RIYL: Weezer, The Planet Smashers,, rockabilly, ska.
No Island is Andy Rice, Keith Sinclair, James Wilfred Martin, Jay Esplana and Max Ley.