Thursday 7 November 2013

Review: Inward – 'Inward'


There are certainly no half-measures with Inward. Their self-titled three-rack EP is a bludgeoning blend of shoegaze, crust and noise. There is no accompanying manifesto, only a link to a sparse bandcamp page and the accompanying cover art included in the promo. It's not for the faint hearted, nor those who like polished and well-mixed music.

For the most part the EP sounds like it was recorded in a concrete bunker on an old four-track that has had the shit kicked out of it. The constant hiss of distorting noise and muffled instruments give this a sound akin to a no-budget 80s demo. Yet amongst the cacophonous din there is something disturbingly catchy.

The first track, 'Long Dream' begins with an apocalyptic crash from the bass which drives the song along with a subtle, but effective groove. 'Friend' sees the rhythm section in full swing as the drums and bass give the track a backbone that allows the vocals a platform to bounce off effectively. The final offering, 'Brave Faces' ups the tempo with punk ferocity and repetitive rhythms merging into a wall of noise.

There is something fundamentally quite catchy about the shoegaze leanings of the band, and you have to wonder whether the noise element is out of preference or necessity. Hidden in the hiss and distortion are the germs of some quite good songs, but they are all but drowned out and throttled by the production on the EP. Some better mixing might yet render a better balance between the band's musical and experimental sides.

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