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Division Day - Beartrap Island

Self-released*

Beartrap Island is the debut full-length effort from the Los Angeles based indie rock band Division Day. The band’s style of melody-driven rock doesn’t drown out so much as bolster and sweeten intellectual and discernable lyrics. Their sound will remind you immediately of other SoCal cohorts like Pinback, Earlimart, and Silversun Pickups. However, the range and complexity of Beartrap Island sets Division Day apart from the others, in it’s own imaginative, introverted corner.

Following the impressive 2004 EP The Mean Way In (Undetected Plagiarism), Division Day delves deeper into the sinister with Beartrap Island, chasing darker demons than before -- not necessarily to defeat them, but merely to confront and reconcile them into one beautiful, haunting album.

The album’s title merely hints at the raw and organic sound of Beartrap Island. In fact, the faster tracks “Catch Your Death” “Lights Out”, and “Tigers” are a frenzied forest of chord progressions and galloping drums that evoke the frantic desperation of being lost in the woods -- either literally or metaphorically -- with a real-life wild animal or the specter of your own tormented past nipping at your heels.

It’s the more down-tempo songs, however, that penetrate the heart and the psyche, much to the credit of vocalist Rohner Segnitz. In “Hurricane”, Segnitz’s vocals are confident and reassuring, yet there are quivers of vulnerability that make him heartbreakingly human. A showcase for the emotive power of Segnitz, the sparse “Dayenu” harbors the ghosts of nostalgia, one man’s reckoning of a rocky past. The possibility of rebirth -- of second chances -- is explicitly suggested with hopeful anxiety in the album’s closers “Littleblood” and “Is It True What They Say?” Segnitz’s vocals, like the entirety of Beartrap Island, are emblematic of growth and change—improving and becoming more and more captivating the longer you listen.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*While the album is not yet released on a label, it is available for purchase on-line at the band's web site, http://www.divisionday.com