The California-based rock duo I is Another, comprised of veteran rockers Ian Love and Jonah Matranga, released their debut eponymous album on Tuesday from Siren Records. In a word, these guys will make you sit up and take notice; I say this because I listened to this album for the first time at 2 a.m., when I was drifting off, and by the end of it I was wide awake.
According to their Kickstarter site, the name of the band is derived from a verse penned by French poet Rimbaud: “We're calling this project I Is Another. A badass called Rimbaud wrote that a while back. It fits. Were making music that's trying to express that.”
Love and Matranga were in other bands and were aware of each other’s work, but did not collaborate on a project together until the inception of this project. This album reflects a genuine labor of love, evident in each textured, layered track that is polished to a shine. Even though this album has the underlying urgency that is evocative of the 90s-era frenzied, emo-punk energy, I is Another presents a much more mature, cohesive sound that is unusual for a debut release.
When I first listened to this album, I thought that it lacked a theme, but second and third listens proved me wrong. I was being taken on a journey that explores which facets of rock correspond to changing emotional states over time. From the track, “Shake,” bordering on metal, to the title track “I is Another,” that takes a muted, contemplative turn, this is an expressive collection of music that stimulates the listener and invites him to probe deeper.
You can stream the album here, but my advice would be not to do it too soon before bedtime.