by Thomas Bedward October 26, 2019
Something of an unstoppable musical force, Australian singer-songwriter Imbred has become something on an underground, cult artist. Known for his aggressive, grunge-infused sound that borders on the avant-garde, he brings to light a seminal noise-punk style that few artists are able to stand against. A diverse talent heavily influenced by modern and old school rock, Imbred started his musical career in a blitzkrieg fashion, writing and recording thirteen albums in just one year.
It was a fiery Renaissance that paved the way for his current musical output, and while those original albums might have been shelved due to poor recording quality, Imbred has since made up for it with a wave of frantic and wonderfully unique releases. The latest in Imbred’s enduring aural assault, ‘Hey’ is an explosive nine-track release that first surfaced in August, appearing on Soundcloud with a blaze of drug-references, grunge heavy sounds, DIY production and rolling, evocative vocals.
Rough, raw, and built on an unstoppable, visceral energy, ‘Hey’ opens with a far more classic punk edge, bursting into existence with the shrill cry of an electric guitar and a stampede of heavy percussion and brash, spirited melody. Imbred's vocals spiral and fight against the melee, casting the focus on Imbred’s now-classic, monotone vocals. It’s a sound that hits hard, and while newcomer’s to his sound might be taken aback, there is an enduring quality that we’ve come to appreciate. Raw and unapologetic, it’s a powerful style that refuses to fade or shy away from the spotlight, creating a dense and effective sound that hits hard and keeps on hitting.
In the past, Imbred has always pushed his sound into the lingering grunge sound of the ‘90s, but with ‘Hey’, he’s treading a more punk-infused path, transitioning into the spiked sounds of late ‘70s punk and more contemporary pop-punk. Second cut ‘Diazepam’ is a lurching charge through broken vocals and heavy guitar riffs while ‘Grey’ and ‘Loveless’ stick close to that heavy concussive sound. Fifth track ‘Happiness’ is arguably the most accomplished song on the album, bringing to light one of Imbred’s more impressive vocal performances along with an onslaught of tapered drums and calculated guitars. It’s a song with a strong, simple chorus that you can get behind, and when the two-and-a-half minutes of rampant sound is done, there is noticeable emptiness to the silence that follows.
As the album rolls on, Imbred breaks through shaky ground and broadens his repertoire on ‘Sheep’, ‘Stars’ and ‘LSD’, before launching into album closer ‘Volcano’, a true to form an instrumental piece of wailing guitar and pronounced psychedelic flourishes. It’s a fitting and memorable end, creating a fitting and triumphant end.
Being such a prolific artist, it’s safe to say that you’ll never be short of new material from Imbred, and while the release of a new album might not be any surprise, the growth shown on ‘Hey’ certainly is. Glistening with a more polished and confident sound, it’s arguably his most accomplished and impressive work to date.
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