by Thomas Bedward February 16, 2020
Continuing his journey into the dark, DIY heart of Australian grunge, Imbred is back with his eighth and most intriguing album to date. While previous albums have revolved around a central theme such as depression, love, or loss, Imbred’s latest release is something of raw power and creative spontaneity, an unflinching release in which the music speaks for itself.
After re-working and re-mastering most of his back-catalogue, Imbred’s latest arrives at a pivotal moment in his creative process. While previous releases have made him infamous online for his rough style and often caustic vocals, ‘Sky’ glistens with promise and change, offering up some of his most complete and actively enjoyable tracks to date.
Opening with the title track, ‘Sky’ carves a familiar path through ‘90s grunge aesthetic with an acoustic flair and simple rolling melodies. It’s simple, but effective, creating a revolving platform for Imbred’s vocals, an element of his music that has always come under scrutiny. In ‘Sky’ though, you can actively hear the improvement, particularly when looking back the early days of ‘Creep’.
Second cut ‘Sunday Afternoon’ flows with a Pixies-esque vibe, creating what is arguably Imbred’s most commercial and enjoyable piece to date. It’s a rare moment when his vocals work perfectly with the heavier sound, creating a twisted alt. rock sound of true and definite potential. From there, the album is a pleasing cut above his past work, with songs like ‘Coffee’, ‘Ambien’, and ‘Island’ introducing a more experimental element to the mix, creating a torn world of intrigue.
While the album as a whole is a patchwork of typical good, bad, and ugly sounds, ‘Sky’ is an upward motion for Imbred, and the improvements to his vocals and production aren’t going unnoticed. Perhaps the first of his releases that has definitive commercial value, ‘Sky’ is easily his most accessible and successful release so far.
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