by Thomas Bedward July 11, 2019
One of Australia’s blossoming avant-garde artist, Imbred is a driven, almost destructive talent who has been forging his own rough-cut legacy on Soundcloud for a while now. Heavily influenced by both modern and old school rock, Imbred’s style is soaked in caustic rock and dark grunge sounds, breaking away from the mainstream with a unique blend of poetic lyrics and trademark, monotone delivery. Most recently, we featured and reviewed ‘Creep’, a rough cut album that flew in the face of his detractors and pushed his sound to the very limits.
An album built on the dark path of depression, self-loathing, and in his own words ‘shit’, ‘Creep’ set the stage for Imbred’s Soundcloud revolution, and now, only a short while later, he’s brought us the album’s companion piece, a ten-track collection of more delicate love songs. The somewhat angelic brother to ‘Creep’, the new album is simply titled ‘Love’, and it brings to the fore a rapid-fire collection of tracks that fly by in a flickering haze of guitar and punk aesthetics.
With the longest track barely making it past two-minutes in length, ‘Love’ is all about rapid, pop-punk sounds, utilising high-tempos and fast-paced guitar to quickly build melodies and push past the occasionally cheesy lyrics and throwbacks to Pixies, Nirvana, and early Green Day. Taking from the playbooks of the grunge greats, along with flourishes of punk icons like The Ramones, the album is filled with recognisable moments, subtle improvements, and some ill-advised turns, making it a classic Imbred release.
Opening with a dedicated pop-punk vibe, the album bravely presents itself to the world with nowhere to hide, bursting into existence with waves of shredding guitar, flash-fire percussion, and Imbred’s unique vocals fighting through it all. ‘Butterfly’ comes into focus with a solid, potentially stolen resemblance to Nirvana’s ‘Dumb’, while ‘Girl’ rattles with some uncomfortable falsetto and an expansive shoegaze sound. Looking at the album as a whole, Imbred’s vocals have definitely found a more fitting sound, and it’s not until the closing, more acoustic cuts of ‘Love Song’ and ‘Angel’ that the weaknesses really take over
Although it lacks some of the depth of ‘Creep’, there are some definitive improvements on show in ‘Love’. It might not have the same weight, poetic nature, or even emotional authenticity, but the more diverse experimental tones and willingness to tackle more traditionally light and joyful topics make it an important step in defining Imbred’s sound. Another bold step in what will undoubtedly be a long creative process, ‘Love’ is adventurous, flawed, and uniquely his.
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