An Australian songwriter with a potentially questionable name, Imbred is one of the underground’s most prolific new talents. Influenced heavily by modern and old school rock, he wrote and recorded thirteen albums last year, blazing a trail in his own DIY renaissance. Sadly, the albums were shelved due to poor recording quality, and while they’re not publicly available anymore, they were the catalyst for him to join Soundcloud and work hard to better his sound.
Breaking through to the more mainstream market through the innovative use of Reddit ads, Imbred has met with his fair share of criticism, often stating that “everyone hates me and thinks my music is trash”. Not deterred, Imbred has pushed through and stayed true to his goal of building a career through music, and today, he’s proud to present his latest ten-track offering, ‘Creep’.
A destructive, almost avant-garde sound, ‘Creep’ bears some striking similarities to the heavier rock of old, puncturing the heart of the early grunge sound from the US and the rough-cut, pub rock sound that flows through Australia’s chequered musical history. Opening track ‘Freakshow’ brings with it instant comparisons to modern success stories such as Amyl and The Sniffers and The Chats, bringing a simple bombardment of heavy guitar and driving percussion, but it also highlights Imbred’s main weakness, his vocals. Out of phase with the song and ill-fitting to the style, his vocals are raw and unrefined, and while some singers like Jimmy Barnes or even Johnny Rotten have been able to use it to their advantage, Imbred’s vocals lack the heavy grit or inherent melody that is dearly needed in his work.
The title track brings with it another decent showing of musical force, adding more grunge influence along with flourishes of shoe-gaze aesthetic, but again, it’s those vocals that hold the focus for all the wrong reasons, particularly in the attempted falsetto tones in each chorus. As the album continues, there is more examples of musical prowess and faltering vocals in ‘Anarchy’, a visceral call to arms that is sadly flattened by Imbred’s low-energy vocals, while ‘Scars’, perhaps one of the most exciting and anthemic songs crashes down on long, flat vocals refrains.
Lyrically, Imbred isn’t without his moments of clarity and invention, channelling emotion and heart into lines like, “They all think I’m insane, I think they’re all the same”, and his words clearly come from a place of honesty and perseverance. While somewhat difficult to overcome, the issues in Imbred’s vocals aren’t the silver bullet that they appear to be, and you can hear the potential, and with the right training and production, he could really be onto something.
Perhaps the spirit of the album is best captured by closing cut, ‘I Don’t Care’, which shines with shades of Nirvana’s ‘Breed’. ‘Creep’ is about making his own music and pushing forward regardless of what any fan, critic, or hater has to say, and for that, you have to salute Imbred.
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