One of the best songs on the album was the opener “Desert Islands.” This song has a boatload of changes and keeps you on your toes. The first sound we hear is a rising wave of sound made from a synth or an organ. Without any prior warning the band delves into a rhythmically complex progression made up of distorted guitars, great drum work and a steady bass. I liked the fact that they started off with a guitar solo. You don't get that too often. At about the 2:00 mark they take their distortion off the guitar and replace it with organ, intricate guitar progressions and some fantastic vocal work. The lead singer reminded me of Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals - nice. As the song progresses it clashes with more genres like metal, psychedelic and rock. Some may claim it was overkill but I just call it enjoyable.
“Amber Rose” is another standout combining flourishing guitar chords with more solid vocal work. They don't genre hop like they did on the first song and that makes the listening experience a bit more fluid. The centerpiece of the record is “Vagabond Sighs.” At seven plus minutes they pull out all the stops displaying their technical prowess as well as their ability to improvise (at least that’s what it sounded like.) Its a funky affair with ultra fast bass work, shredding lead guitar and metronome type drumming.
While not every song strikes gold on Second Paradise a majority of the songs are more than enjoyable to listen. The songs are solid and it’s nice to hear an album where it feels a couple of guys in a room are playing music together. After listening to it I would bet that this album was mostly recorded in a couple of takes and these guys tear it up live.