This is a review of "Night Fliers EP" recorded by Rhode Island. The review was written by Alex Clark in 2006.
Rhode Island announce themselves with the borrowed voice of a court house judge from some seedy American backwater. He reads out the aliases of a prolific felon. Who really is Salvador O'Leary and how did he come about such colourful monikers as Wrong Way Marv, or the Shoe-store Kid? Well, that's where imagination comes to the fore; the narrative fades and the listener is treated to an arresting guitar riff that is undeniably inspired by Hank Marvin. From there the band plunge into a bright sonic arcadia that although adheres to the rigidly undisciplined ideals of post-rock, it shares none of the bleak and soulless executions of a few of their dreary counterparts.
The song revisits the deliciously Hank Marvinesque twangy guitar passage before ending with more evocatively suggestive aliases. Make no mistake; Head for the Border is the standout track and the one which will certainly lend itself to Rhode Island's epitaph.
The second track, Everything at the Same Time is weaker than the first. It's jovial and uplifting and no doubt geared to a more mainstream audience, as the orthodox singing doesn’t offer any of the mysterious allure that borrowed voices of the first song achieved.
The final two songs from this EP, Night Fliers and Waytonsea Summer have the band retreat into themselves and it's over these two songs that the band show their hermetic side. Probably the best way to describe these songs in a nutshell would be to say they're pop/ rock/ astral jazz written and played for alien ears.
Rhode Island's Night Fliers EP is a fine blend of eclectic pop and rock that will effortlessly appeal to purveyors of tomorrows' off-kilter sounds and visions.