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The Two Koreas - Science Island

By: Andrew Horan

The Two Koreas - Science Island

The Two Koreas
Science Island

(Unfamiliar Records/Last Gang)

SOUNDS LIKE: A collection of songs that straddle the line between raw garage rock and art punk.

The musical style that Two Koreas frontman Stuart Berman coined for the Toronto band's third release is fitting. The raw garage rock sound they're known for lurks just below the surface of the layers of synthesizers they've added to the mix creating a sound that's incredibly powerful, making the "Glacial Garage" tag especially appropriate.

While this album may have more in common with Wire than it does The Fall, they haven't lost sight of what they're known for – down and dirty rock and roll. The driving 'Midnight Brown' sounds like vintage Two Koreas with its driving guitars and Berman's intense vocals.

But it's songs like the aptly titled 'Haunted Beach' and particularly the seemingly out of left field 'Karl Johans Gate' that provide the best examples of the art punk sound they have embraced. The latter is a slow building epic that features bleeping synthesizers and a march-like drum beat that gradually gathers steam until it reaches its powerful climax.

The production is first rate, proving that having a hi-fi sound isn't necessarily a bad thing. Long-time producer Jon Drew brings an immense sound that doesn't lose sight of the band's almost primal energy.

Science Island finds The Two Koreas ably straddling the line between the primitive garage rock of their previous outings and a style that's retro yet forward facing at the same time.

Video: “Midnight Brown“ by The Two Koreas


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