Songs like "Ashes" and "Too Straight" manage to sound like everyone and no one simultaneously, with just enough of Hunter-Rivera inserted to make it his own, but lacking enough personality to really pull you in. Highlights such as "16mm" and "El Dembow Me Salvo" retain a welcome simplicity, and make for some of the more charming material on Basic Instincts. The inclusion of two instrumental interludes, while not entirely necessary on a ten-song/37 minute album, helps to create an overall mood and contribute to the aforementioned cohesion of the album.
The lyrics are the project's weak point — too clunky at times, too obvious at others — but overall there's a lot to like about Basic Instincts. Many of the songs could easily be included on a number of coming-of-age teen angst movie soundtracks, in the best possible way. The material is also rife with potential for live performance, so here's hoping a tour announcement is imminent. The album is its own self-contained world, which is more than can be said of many releases by more established acts, making the future of Island Boy as a project even more exciting. (Rita Records)