Island View Drive’s multi-word name points to that curiously heartsick subgenre generally labeled emo. Predecessors include Sunny Day Real Estate and Dashboard Confessional, but the form’s newer bands have taken it to a place where lyrical melodrama and stop-start guitars offer a secret language for suburban teens sitting dreaming in their computers’ blue light for any minor controversy to spice up the space between Warped Tours. Island View Drive’s What Will it Take has these qualities. It has florid, AOL Shakespeare phraseology (“It is said that all, is fair in love, I wonder when that meaning/Will find its place there for me, after all this thought, after all I’ve fought …”). It has heavy guitars. And it loves to amp emotion with layered, excessively pleading vocals. Yes, it has appeal for fans of IVD contemporaries like Early November or Hidden in Plain View, but the trio just takes so few chances beyond adding a backyard reggae lilt to “Underneath the Moon” and “Turn Out the Light.” Maybe you need a screen name on Purevolume or MySpace to identify with IVD. But even denizens of those Internet communities might search for the individuality on What Will it Take.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].