Formed in 2016 Derby three-piece Imbue have already got a 2Q Festival appearance under their belt and made it a sell-out with their first headline show launching new EP Elements at Radar Love in August. Despite this the band – with their atmospheric rock sound – is one I have to admit I know very little about.
Elements, available on the usual digital platforms, sounds as bright and neon-shiny as the cover art. It’s perfectly produced and super slick sounding with all the songs thematically titled to match the EP’s over-arching chemical moniker; Arsenic, Uranium and Neon to name but three. A good introduction to a band with precision to their sound and focus in their approach.
Drums are crisp and tight, guitars crunchy but tidy and vocals are clean and clear as crystal. It’s well executed, the songwriting is strong and the musicianship is accomplished. With the exception of the track Oxygen Magnesium the band unashamedly wear their emo influences with pride, giving more than a nod to bands like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy.
For me, this is the kind of music that mid-teens move onto when they realise that One Direction, and other manufactured pop, is actually rubbish and there are real bands out there. That’s not a criticism of the genre, or Imbue themselves – on the contrary they do this very well and almost certainly plug a gap left in Derby’s music scene left by the demise of former local emo champions LostAlone.
Following on from last year’s Gyromancy EP their sound has continued to grow on this latest release – Niall Fritz’s vocals smooth amid washes of atmospheric guitar, crashing riffs, and soaring choruses. I for one expect their music to grow and develop along with a solid fan base, especially if their live performance is as slick and tight as the production on Elements.