Saturday, 20 October 2012

Review: Imagine Dragons - Night Visions

 It's about time that I covered this band now that the mainstream world of alternative music is being dominated by quirky indie pop bands a la Fun., Of Monsters and Men and Dog is Dead. And so we come to Imagine Dragons, a indie quartet from Las Vegas looking to follow in the steps of their Vegas alt rock brethren The Killers by taking their influences from 1980's synthpop, the best of britpop and taking their honest thought out lyrics and threading them within absorbing atmospheres. Sounds decent right?

 It's decent enough for them to be selling out every venue they've played in the USA so far and with a growing reputation that sees them coming to these shores and a recently released debut full length Night Visions this is a band destined go far. Especially if they do just let the album do the talking and they'll move to unstoppable heights.

 It's never a fully manageable feat with a lot of bands in the same vain as Imagine Dragons, but their prime skill is the creation of music that is highly reliant on electronic backdrops and usage of synthesizers that still boasts a strong human element throughout the songwriting with both executed to a tee in their overall skill and perfection of craft.

 The usage of synthesizers to create vibrant and gripping backgrounds and foregrounds to their songs is more advanced than their fellow indie pop peers as the thumping opener Radioactive proves, with it's beautifully demonstrated ability to balance out gentle spidery guitar riffs with strong synthesized backdrops that have surely taken on a dubstep influence which is all brought together through the powerhouse melodies of frontman Dan Reynolds. ("Wait, melodic dubstep? That can't be right, it's just random computer noises!" said the people that don't care.) Aside from that, the use of electronic serves as a prominent reminder of the potency and substance that the best of the 1980's pop musicians gave us today.

 The influence displayed within the band's music does happen to last decades however. From thereon, the sound of chilled 90's britpop in the vain of Blur and Pulp can be heard in Demons with the chilled attitudes of those bands being shifted up a gear into the greater sound of ambition and big booted determination, while the more soulful sound that britpop boasted in the early 2000's is reflected in the Keane-isms of Amsterdam.

 It's with this fine amount of production that Imagine Dragons summon up a finely crafted album that boasts a tonne of inspirations and it's the soulful performance of Reynolds that serves as the cherry on the top of the cake. His stunning performance on the likes of It's Time boast enough power to sound reminiscent of The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon which in the context of powerhouse emotional performances on the likes of Hear Me and Bleeding Out are vital in unleashing a powerful empathetic response from listeners.

 With these basic ingredients, Imagine Dragons have created a powerful debut offering that shows them to be dynamic songwriters that can take the best of 30 years of pop music behind them and summon it into a wonderfully fitting musical show of immersion and beauty. And with a frontman who boasts his pure sincerity in every line sung, the music melds together with the same truthfulness as the lyrics of Dan Reynolds. Of course if you were never convinced by the rising of these fun loving indie pop bands this won't convince you in any way apart from continue to show you the joy you're missing out on I suppose.

Imagine Dragons' Night Visions is out now via Interscope. The band will tour the UK in November.

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