"Through the desert marching slowly, walking towards the green, in a forest so damp and withered, where nothing is what it seems. To the mountains way beyond him, sees his fathers face in rocks, got to get there got to keep going, but now his smile drops. He's gone back to where he started, gone back to hell knows where, finds some water in a bottle cant open, this thirst is his despair. Falls to his knees and crying, crying won't get you anywhere"
2003 saw the meteoric rise of Essex trio InMe, with their debut album 'Overgrown Eden' spawning 4 singles, which caused severe hype and expectation of the young 20 somethings for the future of rock. A second album 'White Butterfly' in 2005 proved to be even more successful among critics and fans alike - indicated by this time around, releasing 5 singles and their official music videos. Somehow though, 2 years later, the 3rd album 'Daydream Anonymous' suffered a stuttering release with very little advertising or anticipation. It appeared that a change in record label had proven to be a deadweight on the truly ambitious, lofty heights of a progressive metal band. 5 years of experience under their belts and increasing talent in technicality made for a stellar combination, creating a strong and imaginative album. Regardless, it was InMe's lowest charting cd and ended up with only one single in 'I Won't Let Go'. The departure of their label, the pressure and casual audience though, seemed to be a relief as the sound is more defined and confident, as the Mcpherson brothers team up to write blissful rock music for the loyalest of fans (old bassist Joe Morgan would leave after touring the 2nd album). Now relatively unknown in the UK, the band are still lauded by small groups of music lovers, a cult like following who have stuck with them through the celebrity high to the obscurity low.
"You always have options my friend.. Opportunities you'd better take them.. take them to your grave!"
Swirling noises cue the introduction of first track, destroyed by a heavy drop D chord and bended string. A count down of 2, 3, 4 triggers a sequence of technical brutality amongst the band members as guitarist & vocalist Dave Mcpherson unleashes a surging riff, crammed full of hammer-ons and pull-offs. Drummer Si Taylor lays down a standard beat until a frantic smashing of cymbals and rhythmic bass back up the mood. "There are still shards in the road, shackled wooden windows" are the first words uttered by a falsetto master Mcpherson as the guitar uses a clunky palm muting technique, interrupted by funky little pinch harmonics, with each verse proceeding the next in skill. "You don't understand cause you are not a strong man, it doesn't mean a thing. I don't need your help, I got this far all by myself and I've given everything" is the upbeat message possibly concerning past employers, as the bridge leads to the simplistic one line chorus of "Myths & Photographs". Its an impressive start to the album, one that could easily have been on the cards for an official single release. 'Far-Reaching' has far more urgency to it with a zippy intro that covers every fret on the guitar. "Reverse your feet, retreat, the battle is complete but are we home yet? Unload your guns, turn around and run, we've got the sun upon our mind set." is sang with a passion reserved for those dedicated enough to sing along down to a wordy melody. More jolly than the song before it but still serious in its message, InMe keep up a quick paced song with even more intercepting melodies towards the end, scaling with synth effects after a head nodding breakdown.
"The sun ignored me until now, just lie here with me.. Your eyes they hypnotize me every night I'm in a dream"
When it comes to the prospect of what to lead the album with 'I Won't Let Go' doesn't particularly do it justice. Clearly the most poppy song on the album with a soppy chorus line of repetition in "I won't let go, never gonna let go". Looking back, it would be well placed on 'White Butterfly' as it bears some ressemblence to its mood and features heavily edited riffing with oceanic effects. One of the shortest songs on the album, just over 3 minutes, it takes a break from the artistic curiosity and makes way for an easy to digest morsel of mainstream music. Thankfully, it is the one and only lapse in concentration as they return to form with 'Turbulence'. Going for a more mellow ballad, they include an acoustic guitar for the rhythm section as the electric goes clean and wails away like a mesmerising sirens song. "Look up and see the sky tonight it's beautiful.. Make sure that you look up tonight and see it all. The stars across the fire and through the clouds.." is appropriate daydreaming lyrics as backing vocals quietly repeat the title. The whole song is a hazy blur of well held notes, spindling strings and lively percussion until a sudden interlude adds a bit of an edge to change it up. A surprise is in store next though as all knowledge of the previous song gets blown away by an unapologetic tapping riff with double bass drum pedal and a second guitar once again thrown into the mix for 'Cracking The Whip. "Mirror-imaged shadows, passive fragments floating. A dignified loss suits you just fine my friend" is the cryptic verse sang in a high pitch while guitars distort and eventually become bassy and muffled. It's chorus however strolls at a slower pace with chords instead of the aforementioned fiddleiness. The second verse is just is just as vividly imaginative as the first with "Dreaming of nostalgia, emerald still gleaming. Every snowflake pleads not guilty in an avalanche!" all the while bassist Greg Mcpherson does some impressive bass work behind the scenes. Of course, this kind of song wouldn't be complete without a grizzling guitar solo to set the tone once and for all.. and most likely, just to show off a wee bit.
"And my foot in my mouth, I don't remember what I said. Best day of my life, I don't remember"
Once again, the Mcpherson brothers pull of some incredible synchronised guitar work with 'In Loving Memory', completely chaotic and more than a little bit disorderly. It somehow manages to include a basic vocal melody that works with the ensuing instrumental madness but really comes together towards the end by screaming "For all you've given me, for all you've taken!". My personal favourite on the album, 'Daydream Anonymous' is a deserving song and appropriate album name. Clean guitars and only the most basic of drumming, its no ballad, nor a rock song, but a depressing dirge that stirs the soul. After the icy guitar notes, "The snow across the old white fields" sets up a story for the song. "We daydream alone, forgetting the one place we call home" is as depressing as the album gets. A slightly silver lining like vision lies in its chorus of "I miss the way you paint square flowers.. And I love the way your grace is your face. I miss the way you taste, when I get lost in myself" abstract or immensely personal it may be but it strikes a significant chord. For the last minute, the drums come alive with joyous, crashing cymbals and more emotional falsetto. 'Here's Hoping' is a breath of fresh air after a lengthy tear jerker, largely down to its sweet melodic palm muting and intended feedback. A sleepy, whisper of "You knew that I was lonely, by the shiver in my voice. It seems like everybody's hoping, but we never make the right choice" is the first few lines. Its another chorus driven track due to its positive about 'holding on', 'not being afraid' & 'running to the sun'.
"There's no more pain, the tears are superficial. There's no more shame, the years of blame dissolve."
A grainy, electronic oddity appears in 'Raindrops On Stones'.. "I've been meaning to tell you for quite some time.." is declared straight away, then he creepily responds to his own statement with "What is it you wanted to tell me?". Experimental in instrument sounds as well as lyrical content, its a welcome change from any repetitive formula you might have been noticing in the songs. Its jittery guitar and unchartered craziness keeps pouring out along with the mental imagery in its lyrics which are just a bit too spacey for my liking. No.10 rolls out another ballad-like tune in 'Thanks For Leaving Me' with the sound of what I'm guessing is a ring hitting the floor then proceeds with rustic guitar and soulful moans. Initially, the vocals are stretched and sharply merge into falsetto that slightly tarnishes some of the mood. Like a few other songs, its chorus is where it shines with a wonderful melody and lyric of "If she hadn't left me, would I be lying here with you? If she hadn't said goodbye, would I be smiling here with you? If she hadn't hurt me, would I be healing here with you?". A slightly out of place ending improves the song further thanks to bleeping little guitar licks, popping in and out during "If you say my name and step into my shadow. If you take my hand and promise me forever".
"And how can it be, I've been stung by an angel again"
A fun, upbeat track is in need and delivered with 'Soldier', a jolly song worth singing along to - "You've really got me on the run this time haven't you, my dear?". A punk rockish sound, manly cheers and tempo mean its yet another stand out song that could easily coax a smile from even the most miserable of goons. That and its dying 30 seconds are blissful guitar gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. '2nd Jonquil' is admittedly, a grower. Its hip hop twitching drum loops and pinched notes are rather inexplicable and the lyrics only serve to confuse the hell out of you. Given time, the positives can be seen with some extraordinary musicianship going on (as with the majority of the album frankly). Its guitar tab ressembles the pitter patter of raindrops and its last lines of chorus are chest clenching poetic heart break "And when I go to sleep the heart monitor never beeps when I'm in your trance.. I'd rather dance with you in my bed of blunt thistles". Its made even more painful with a short interlude with spangling guitars and "The devil's at my doorstep but I won't let him in yet, I've got you to raise my chin.. and if it's all a dream and you're not quite what you seem, well I'll sleep in vain". The song could easily close out a spectacular album, but it would be on a slightly sombre and teary occasion to say goodbye. No, instead, InMe go for one last hoorah with a long 13th track "A Toast To Broken Glass". Stop/Start guitar chords, doused with whammy bar eventually morph into the heaviest riff so far. Incorporating all the techniques and skills used throughout the album, the song relentlessly pummels through each verse and doesn't quieten down on title based chorus' either. The 2 main verses seem to tell the story of a young man with suffering conflicting emotions over his father. Close to home or pure fiction, there is no doubting its spirit or its delivery as Mcpherson's guitar work goes beyond staggeringly sublime. The innocent line of "I still love you, yes I still love you" is the purest line heard after a good 55 minutes of metaphorical magic and storytelling.
So there you have it, a large underrated diamond thats been around for a good few years, made in Britain.