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Album Review: Disco Ensemble - The Island of Disco Ensemble

Disco Ensemble, and their latest album 'The Island of Disco Ensemble' suffer from unfortunate naming. It isn’t the bands fault of course, more a sign of the times. Flick through a list of new bands and Disco Ensemble would probably be one that would be shied away from, due to the popularity of fluro haircut bands that churn out an endless number of vapid tracks that are seemlingly excused from their vapidness, because “they are fun party records dude”. Disco Ensemble, refreshingly are not one of these bands. The Finnish outfit instead have a ten track offering of energetic post hardcore that deserves to be given a chance.

‘Bay of Biscay’ is the first song, and is a pretty good indicator of the band’s sound for the album. Big guitar hooks led by Miikka Koivisto’s passionate vocal delivery. Koivisto is impressive through the album, his vocal styling’s lend the lyrics a sense of urgency, and when he unleashes his screams, they always feel like an earned outburst of emotion, instead of just screaming for the sake of it. Another rather refreshing thing about this album is the use of the keyboards. They aren’t just tacked on there for no reason, and they aren’t impossible to hear due to the wall of noise going on in front of them. No, they actually add something here, and give some of the songs some much needed atmosphere. ‘So Cold’ is a good example of this, nothing too extreme, but a few simple notes really add to the beginning of the song.

The second half of the album doesn’t quite hold up compared to the first half. Whereas the front end was packed with immediacy and rawness, the second half doesn’t contain as much of this. It does offer a little variation, but it seems like if it had just been ordered a little differently, the album would have kept up its sense of pace instead of dragging towards the end. That being said, there are still plenty of big, impressive guitar riffs to keep listeners bobbing their heads, and ‘Semi Eternal Flame/ Undo’ manages to strike exactly the right balance of shifting powerful guitar and vocal assaults with their slower, more atmospheric side.

'The Island of Disco Ensemble' is another focussed effort from the Finnish quartet. Their sound is big and ably matched by Koivisto’s vocals. Forget about the name, and forget about the crappy dance rock associated with that sort of name and give it a listen. It might not break down on the dance floor, but at least it has some soul behind it.


'The Island of Disco Ensemble' by Disco Ensemble is available now on Fullsteam Records.

Official Website

Disco Ensemble on MySpace

Jamie Kirk

Alter The Press!