Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Reviews:: Intensive Care 2805 EP

Intensive Care ... yet another Montreal band. You wonder how one place can produce so much good music. Seriously. I thought I had reached my quota of Youpee-infused rock for '07, but I was wrong. Intensive Care is a unique sounding four-piece that manages to blend distorted guitars, piano, inspired metal riffs, theatrical builds, soaring vocal lines and catchy hooks - and they do it all in only 5 songs.

2805 is their independent release and the 5 songs show a lot of potential and creativity with only a few missteps. The keyboard intro on Distorted Love Song starts the EP and Phillipe's vocals gently crescendo with the guitars. Using nice transitions, the song alternates between a subtle groove, emotion filled ivory and booming choruses. It's an ambitious start to the project, but one that the band pulls off. The start-stop philosophy works well, as the band peaks your energy (like the nice hook at the 2:40 mark) but doesn't let you get comfortable.

Normally on a 5 song EP, a seven-minute epic like K might be a turn off (and I'm still pretty well set on the fact that unless you are talking about Trapeze Swinger, no song needs to push past 6 minutes), but the energy is maintained well over the course of the song. The beat drives forward and the guitar noodle morphs into a pseudo-metal grind before slowing into a moody, shoegaze breakdown. That being said, when you compare K to the next three songs, you see that Intensive Care can accomplish the same results in a much shorter time.

I think the band really finds their stride on Stray. Stray is the most consistent song on the EP (that being said, they still do more in three-minutes than you can imagine), and the by letting the riff grow slowly, you really settle into the track. You aren’t left waiting for the track to end, in fact, you wish it would keep going.

The band loosens up the bass line on Break Me Up, Machine and for the first two-minutes you are hit with a impressive indie riff. Topping out at almost 6-minutes, this track actually feels like two - the first being the up tempo head nodder, and the second is a more head down, wall-of-sound experience. The transition helps cut the length of the track, and by the time the buzz saw guitars build and the vocals soar you can barely remember the infectious riff that started the song.

The EP closes with yet another style. The delicate ballad - So Tired - is comforting, without falling prey to the radio rock trap. The heavy strings are bowed so slowly that they suck any optimism or hope from your heart, leaving you exhausted with melancholic bliss. The obscure wind chime, sound effect outro shows that the band isn't happy creating straight ahead tracks, but makes you think that their quirky style of pop is one you will be hearing a lot more of in the future.
MP3:: Stray
MP3:: So Tired

web site :: myspace

Posted at 5:55 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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