by Thomas Bedward June 14, 2020
Arriving with his landmark ninth album, there’s little more to say about Australian singer-songwriter that hasn’t already been said. A constant and enduring fixture on our pages, he’s become one of our favourite, more prolific, and most divisive artists, clinging to a brash grunge sound that pulls us right back to the heart of the dirty ‘90s. With eight albums already to his name, all of which you can be found here, Imbred’s has now released his most evocative and accomplished piece to date.
An eponymous release, ‘Imbred’ arrives as something of a composite offering, bringing together seven-original tracks along with one brand new single, ‘Valentine’s Day’.
Opening with a flurry of wailing guitars and heavily tuned guitars, Imbred brings a far more melodic sound to the fore, battling conformity with the aptly titled ‘Baa’. It’s a fitting introduction to the album, capturing Imbred’s musical ethos while also showing a new expansion of his rustic sound. While previous albums might have hinted at this more melody-driven sound, ‘Imbred’ is the first album that really explores it in detail, adding more pronounced percussion and acoustic tendencies to Imbred’s otherwise punk-inspired sounds.
Second cut ‘Acid Song’ is another prime example of his growth as a songwriter and vocalist, and you can even appreciate some nuanced pop stylings intertwined within each chorus, offering a rare glimpse of positivity. Following numbers like ‘Free’ and ‘Money’ return to Imbred’s dark, murky roots in good form, before the emotive shine of final track ‘Ok’ comes into view, closing the album portion of the release with a truly and somewhat surprisingly emotive piece of songwriting.
In his own words, Imbred has said that ‘Valentine’s Day’ is one of his best songs, and it’s easy to see why. Built on a shimmering wave of electric guitar and pushed forward by pronounced and rock-inspired drumbeat, ‘Valentine’s Day’ is easily the most complete and polished piece we’ve ever heard from Imbred. It has the sound of a true single, one that has been elevated from his rough, demo-tape style and elevated to something that truly gets stuck in your head, playing an inescapable loop of ‘she fucking hates me’. A pleasant surprise, it’s a song that redefines Imbred’s sound and sets the standard so much higher than ever before.
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