It’s always a joy to hear an artist go through the various stages of developing their style and sound over time. Though Imbred has an immediately recognisable tone and technique to his songwriting and performances, you can still categorically see how things have changed and perhaps even musically improved from one album to the next. A big part of that recently has perhaps been the theme of the writing.
Beginning with the aptly titled and beautifully joyful yet still somehow grunge-infused Happy, IV is once again a personal favourite from the artist so far. Contrast is really well incorporated, even from the acoustic Happy to the hard-hitting and anthem-like Abilify. That Nirvana core returns and brings through a quickly engaging track with short, addictive lines and a subtle but effective progression through a poetic, captivating story-line.
Imbred always writes with his truth – always, without fail; it’s a rare and commendable trait. This album therefore arrives with a certain air of purity and honesty that just naturally flows through, and with that – the music stands a little taller.
Anxiety is a single-word title and a song that poignantly connects with far too many of us right now. As the pace of the world increases, so does our anxiety, and Imbred has captured the essence of that feeling and that process in a completely unexpected yet brilliantly creative manner here. The melody is somewhat joyful, the yeahs feel like a summer’s day, the lyrics though – these tell a different story. Simple and to the point, it’s another track that’s over and done with in precisely the time intended or needed by the artist.
Jealousy follows and a heavy bass-line leads the way for an equally lower, more droning and distant vocal. Still, the switch to the hook is great – the language and the melody alike meet with the sudden influx of hi-hats to craft a moment of real overcoming and brightness. Then we go back to the depths of what jealousy is, just to remind us of that truth once more.
One of the most instrumentally energizing and satisfying tracks on this album is Pain. A thick wall of distorted power-chords and fast drums accompanies a clear-cut vocal that again drives with every detail of pain and suffering in a graphic and compelling manner. Then the hook simply calls out the title, in a manner that again contrasts interestingly with the central theme of the song. It’s all soaked in that care-free meets overly-concerned air of Cobain that’s in much of Imbred’s writing.
Introvert brings back the short lines, the rise and fall, the story-telling. A quick burst of a song at just a minute and a half, strangely joyful sounding though – amidst a string of lyrics that lay bay the true struggles and perspective of the life-long introvert. Stay inside, yeah… Stay inside, yeah…
Things come to a mighty finish with the addictive-riff-led Black. Acoustic and dark, melodically and lyrically appealing and memorable. The clarity here ends things well, some of Imbred’s most reflective and artistic lyrics come through, and meanwhile that simple guitar work sets an ambient and considerate mood that naturally suits the introverts and insomniacs likely to connect with it.
A somewhat shorter yet undoubtedly impressive new release from the unstoppable Imbred. Personal yet provocative and powerful in its own uniquely expressive way.