I love it when a band comes along and adapts the pre-set rules to their advantage and sets their own standards. Imogene have done something pretty damn remarkable by creating their own sound from a rich palette of primary influences. Imagine, if you can, The Moody Blues mashed up all gnarly-like with Black Sabbath. Heavy, yet with this melodic, psychedelic vibe. Not metal by any stretch of the imagination, but neither are they a radio-friendly bunch annoying us to random acts of violence. I hate using the term “indie-rock”, but for lack of a better one at this time, it will do.
Imogene are one of the most unique bands that I’ve heard in quite some. On their debut self titled album, they mix ‘60’s melodic sensibilities with the raw sound of retro garage rock. And most incredibly, without the use of a traditional guitarist! They utilize two bassists (one on the traditional 4-string, the other on an 8-string), keyboardist, and drummer to create a veritable mélange of sound. Rich and vibrant colors ooze from the speakers . . . bubbling from the sound system like liquid from your lava lamp.
“Imogene” opens with Happy Communing and immediately hits the listener with a sound oddly familiar, but considerably different. Almost like seeing a person for the first time in thirty years. You recognize that person, but they’ve grown older and perhaps wiser. Imogene have taken a sound from a bygone era and made it valid for a whole new generation of music fans. Paper Dolls and Sunny Day Child carry on with the same tones as the opener . . . dreamy keyboards, reminiscent of The Doors, add colorful texture to the brooding drone of the dual bassists. And then, the listener is taken on a serious psychedelic trip with Wormwood Raindrops. Mind bending sounds permeate from the speakers and mesmerize the listener to question reality. By the time we get to the end of the album, we’re pretty spent. Daath spooked us into a glass eyed state. Seraphim has come and haunted us to soberness. Tongue and Groove spoke to our primal urges and got us rocking out a bit. In all, we’ve experienced a life time of emotions.
I’ve heard talk that it would be a shame for these guys to “make it big” because it would essentially ruin the “indie vibe” of the band, but I disagree. I firmly believe that the members of Imogene are so comfortable with the sound that they’ve created that the future will bring us some very interesting music (samplings from their upcoming album affirm this belief). Recommended listening conditions include a little herb, a nice comfy dark room, burning incense, and a lava lamp aglow in the corner. Enjoy and new trip down an old road and pick up “Imogene." --Pope JTEwww.myspace.com/imogene