INTO THE ETHER
Relative newcomers to the scene, the London based quartet Into The Ether have already secured themselves some pretty tasty support slots alongside the likes of The Crüxshadows, William Control and The Birthday Massacre. Describing themselves as Depeche Mode with guitars, the band blend industrial rock grit with synthpop sheen for a hard, yet melodic sonic manifesto on their début album 'Electric Eden'.
It is obvious pretty quickly that Into The Ether are a band with all of the tools needed to craft some memorable and commercially appealing pop-rock songs. They're only really let down but the production quality of the album. But we'll come to that in due course.
The band offer songs such as 'Electrons', 'Dead To Me', 'The Nightmare', 'Electric Sheep', 'Dark Angel' and 'Demons' which perhaps best sum up their melody-friendly approach to alternative rock. They're full of strong pop hooks, nice guitar flourishes and stick to a steady dance pace. While the likes of 'Paradise' and 'The Garden Of Unearthly Delights' provide a slower centre and make things a little more deep and interesting. They don't fare as well however on 'Pipe Dreams', which unfortunately veers into rather saccharin waters, while 'I Haven't Done Any Drugs' becomes something rather messy and unnecessary.
In terms of production this is a fairly low budget affair and it shows in two major places. Firstly the vocals sound soulless, compressed and muted within a fair few of the songs. Secondly the mix just sounds too rough, as though it has been recorded as fast as possible. It just feels rushed and that's a shame as there are some genuinely catchy songs on here, most of which probably sound great live, but just haven't got that edge here.
Into The Ether are a band with a lot of potential. That's without question, but 'Electric Eden' doesn't do them justice. If it had perhaps been an EP with less tracks that they could have spent the same amount of time and money on then maybe the songs would have gotten the polish they deserved. There are all of the right elements for a great album, and hopefully next time around they will pull it off.