by Thomas Bedward September 25, 2021
A troubled icon of the Australian underground scene, Imbred has been one of the most prolific, divisive, and unrelenting talents of the last few years. With an enigmatic and uncompromising style that takes lead from grunge and punk-rock icons like Nirvana, Pixies, The Vines, and The Sex Pistols, he’s become widely known for his brash, DIY aesthetic and heavy use of Reddit ads, earning a cult status that has continued to grow.
With countless albums to his name, along with a haphazard history that makes properly cataloguing his discography almost impossible, Imbred has taken it upon himself to cut through the torrent of caustic sounds and deliver a sharp and succinct illustration of his style. The result is ‘Gold’, his comprehensive ‘Best Of’ album that has just broken ground on Bandcamp and Spotify.
While keen music fans might remember ‘Gold’ from our review last April, Imbred has revisited and remastered the album, delivering a cleaner sound and updated tracklist that shifts it from the previous “greatest shits album” to something far more expressive.
Opening once again with ‘Freakshow’, the change in the album is almost instantly noticeable, delivering a sharp, whirring tone that drags you back to the first, fractured days of Imbred’s career. As the tone fades, he hits you with a heavy explosion of sound, one that is cleaner, sharper, but still just as raw and inexplicable. It’s a familiar bombardment and one that we’ve come to wholeheartedly enjoy, even with his unique vocal style. After the first track, we get another example of how the album has changed, with ‘Best Friend’ taking over the second spot ahead of the previously billed ‘Anxiety’. It’s a clever change, one that fits the opening tone of the album better, building his jagged wall of sound even higher.
Along with the cleaner sound, ‘Best Friend’ also perfectly showcases the erratic energy in Imbred’s sound, and it hits with an increased duration and scale, proving just how much his songs shift and evolve as he grows as an artist. In truth, everywhere you look on ‘Gold’, Imbred has been able to stitch and tinker with his sound, improving the quality without compromising on the raw, animalistic aggression that made his early work bearable.
Rearranging and remastering the release isn’t the only trick that Imbred has played on the new iteration, and a few new cuts have been added into the mix, shining a new light on some worthy inclusions. While caustic classics like ‘Bored’, ‘Creep’, ‘Depression’, and ‘Scars’ still stand proud, ‘Television’, ‘Butterfly’, and ‘Sweet Leaf’ make bold new appearances in the latter half of the album, making you wonder how they slipped through the cracks the first time around.
A reimagined album that puts Imbred’s sound more clearly into focus, the new ‘Gold’ is a powerful illustration of how his music has grown to become a reflection of his eclectic creative process and dark, troubled life, offering a means for escape and a way for him to realise his potential.
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