The alternative rock scene seems to be at a loss recently, with many bands releasing ‘new’ albums that sound exactly the same as everything that they have ever released. As the genre was originally meant to contrast against mainstream rock music, it is easy to see exactly why so many people are complaining about it at the moment. However, an exciting new alternative rock album has just been released in time for summer… Cue Imbue (Rise) by The Early November. The dictionary definition of imbue is ‘to inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality’, and that is exactly what the New Jersey quintet have managed to achieve with their fourth studio album.
Opening track ‘Narrow Mouth’ is a toe-tapping and spine-tingling rock anthem; the unique melody of the song makes it extremely catchy and impossible to get out of your head. Lead singer Ace Enders’ vocals sound strangely nostalgic yet beautiful, which enables the interesting lyrical content to shine through perfectly. To put it simply, ‘Narrow Mouth’ is a breath of fresh air in a so-called ‘dying’ genre.
‘Boxing Timelines’ is the first single that the band have released from Imbue and it is easy to see why. The romantic lyrics appeal to the masses and the guitar riff is simplistic yet effective. The chorus is infectiously catchy, which seems to be a reoccurring feature on the album. The happy-go-lucky anthem has the perfect summer vibe which provokes happy and nostalgic emotions from the listener.
It is easy to see exactly why The Early November have described Imbue as ‘the most natural and fitting album’ that they have ever created: every song flows perfectly into the next, despite each one sounding completely different. Don’t let the laid-back nature of the album fool you though, as it is easy to hear the passion oozing out of every track.
It definitely would not be an over exaggeration to call Imbue one of the best, if not the best album that The Early November have released. It is clear that their hiatus, along with their other ups and downs, have made them a much more dedicated and sophisticated band. Many bands would shy away from talking about their past, however, The Early November have learnt a lot from their experiences and they have become much stronger.