Eora/Sydney-based heavy-wave trio Five Island Drive have today unleashed their immense debut EP ‘White Rose’ – self-produced and mixed by band member Kim Quint and mastered by Grant Berry (Stand Atlantic, Hot Milk, Boston Manor).
‘White Rose’ is five astounding tracks of diverse musicianship with intense engagement, built heavily on the lyrical themes of allyship and activism, lead fiercely by trans vocalist Frankie Jean (she/her). Featuring genre-fluidity built on a burgeoning ingredient list of influences melted into a pot of heavy music, each song culminates towards a confronting body of work that challenges the imperative social topics of the modern age.
Frankie explains the story and themes behind ‘White Rose’: “In the early 1940’s Sophie Scholl and 4 other students, including her brother Hans, started the Weiße Rose Movement in Germany for a cause that didn’t directly affect them, knowing that it would likely cost them their lives. And it did. But they proceeded unapologetically, handing out anti-propaganda flyers to show their fellow Germans the truth of what was happening. And it made a huge impact in swaying the citizen-consensus within their country. There are so many marginalised groups who need our help because oppressors rarely listen to the groups they’re oppressing. Change needs fearless action, education and an unwaveringly loud, angry group of citizens. The ‘White Rose’ EP tackles allyship in many forms. Activism, self-allyship, critiquing performative-only action, and removing people from your life that refuse to alter their damaging beliefs; and the middle of the EP contains a powerful speech in Sophie Scholl’s own words that sum up the entire meaning of this collection of songs. Narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. We all can choose our own way to burn.”
‘White Rose’ begins with the blistering opening track Destroying Icons, a menacing introduction pervaded by searing guitars and feverish drums, making each passage erratic yet exhilarating. It sets the tone for the EP, alluding to foretelling, recurring leitmotifs and foundations. Following the song’s closing mantra is the group’s debut release The Record, a colossal protest anthem written during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, driven by frantic flows and interweaving instrumentation, gaudily highlighting the apex of each member’s abilities.
Midway through the EP is Weiße Rose (Sophie’s Interlude), piercing and powerful with foreboding synths underlaying the ominous spoken-word stanzas. This builds and transitions into the volatile fourth track Spite Suicide, hurling into action with a full-scale incursion of rhythmic virtuosity and soaring melodies. The unwavering verses compliment the song’s impassioned hook, with guest vocals from Faintly Rumoured providing stratums of strength to the mix.
‘White Rose’ ends with the expressive and fitting closing track Lost Cosmonaut. Following themes of individual growth and consequent loneliness, the track mirrors its predecessors and reflects on a tumultuous journey. Guided by riveting harmonies and pensive, arpeggiated synths, the song’s maverick hip-hop elements accentuate the vacillated outro before steadily cascading to its serene denouement.
To celebrate the release, Five Island Drive will perform their debut shows on the Bonez Queer Party Tour 2022, playing in various capital cities alongside The Last Martyr and Vilify.
Singles from ‘White Rose’ have seen support from Spotify, triple j, triple j Unearthed, idobi Radio Radio (USA), Triple M Hard ‘N Heavy, The Faction, SYN FM, 4ZZZ, Edge Radio, Radio Adelaide, PBS FM, Three D Radio, Southern FM and ERB Radio (UK). The band’s videos were premiered on MANIACS and Kill Your Stereo, with further online support from Life Without Andy, Tone Deaf, Music Feeds, AAA Backstage, The Music, Something You Said, HEAVY Mag, Australian Music Scene, Underground N Proud (PRT) and Roadie Metal (BRA). The Record‘s music video was also added to MTV Upload.
FIVE ISLAND DRIVE
SAT 13 AUG | BONEZ QUEER PARTY @ CROWBAR, EORA/SYDNEY NSW
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SAT 20 AUG | BONEZ QUEER PARTY @ THE LEADBEATER HOTEL, NARRM/MELBOURNE VIC
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THU 25 AUG | BONEZ QUEER PARTY @ THE ZOO, MEANJIN/BRISBANE QLD
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‘White Rose’ EP is out now
Connect with FIVE ISLAND DRIVE
With thanks to Good Intent