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Music Review: Band of the Week — Inverse Order

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This is a different experience for me. Usually when I’m reviewing a band’s music, it is in the form of a physical CD. Which I’m usually twirling over and over in my hands, in the moments between actual typing, where I try to coax out one coherent thought onto the page, for a change. Inverse Order, as of yet, has nothing for me to twirl about and yet I’m still sitting here trying to coax words from my mind because they more than make-up for that by having a handful of damn good songs on their MySpace page. Songs that I hope to see make their way onto a physical release or turn on enough new listeners that the band finds itself amply supported, when they do make that leap.

Having said that, Inverse Order is a band that isn’t just blind newborns on the musical scene. So far they’ve managed to record and self-promote two singles onto the airwaves of New Zealand. Most recently with a song entitled “Hope For Us All?” and that song is as good a place to start digging into their sound as any.

“Hope For Us All?” is just a honest to goodness “great” rock song. Anchored with the wonderful zigzag sway of an insanely catchy guitar hook it manages to take flight and soar on some fairly amazing vocals. Dense, multi-layered and obviously honed to perfection, here’s what vocalist Neill Fraser told me about the track:

Neill: Of the four (songs up on our MySpace page) we definitely spent the most time recording this one, hence the mass of guitars and melodies. The song was written originally as some kind of weird delay-drenched psychedelic piece but a conscious change in direction pushed it into what it now is. Lyrically it’s a something of a commentary on the state of the world, maybe not so much politically, but (about) life in general. Either way, we’re in a strange place and this song tries to tackle that.

“In All Its Glory” announces itself with a throaty growl from the dual guitar attach of Thomas Watts and Neill Fraser, and never looks back. Held in check by the underlying funk of James Dylan’s excellent bass work, it’s just about what you’d want in a perfect modern rock song. Here’s what Thomas Watts said about that track:

Tom: I wrote the music for this song, but I can’t quite remember what it was based upon. I think when it got recorded it ended up sounding a bit too chain-sawish, but that’s just me. I’ve got to say, for as much as Neill derides it, I think the soaring bridgey bit is one of my favorite bits of our music.

“Vices” is a song that manages to sound like a laboratory experiment which mixed a touch of Anberlin’s sound with Silverchair’s sense of lyricism and then added in the “Ingredient X” that is the musicianship of Inverse Order. Dynamic and haunting, it’s just a damn nice song. Here’s what Thomas Watts and Neill Fraser wrote about the track:

Tom: Vices was something that I brought to a practice fully-formed and it hasn’t changed since. The bridge is based on piece of music that I wrote a couple years ago, and that was played at my grandmothers funeral, so it’s got a far amount of emotion embroiled up in it.

NIELL: The song came about one practice and it hasn’t changed much since. Vocally I think at the time I was seeing how just far I could push my throat hence the strained nature of the main lines. Haven’t played it live in quite while, we’ve always been fans of the bridge though.

“Good Morning Lullaby” is the fourth and final song that I’ll be reviewing today, but it bears the distinction of being Inverse Order’s first single. Starting off slow it slowly crawls into being on the backs of some lovely rhythm work by Tristan Lewis’s drumming and James Dylan’s bass guitar. Even after one listen it isn’t hard to see why this would get the band noticed on their home turf as far as radio goes, and many an established act would love to get their hands on a track like this. Here’s what Neill Fraser had to say about it:

NEILL: This (song) was originally written as a fairly dramatic piano piece. I had toyed with adapting it to guitar and wound up dropping what was the verse but the chorus stayed, pretty much the same as it was on piano albeit much ‘bigger’. The verse/bridge etc. formed about that a little while and when it hit the band it made sense within a couple of plays.

Okay, I know I said that was the last song that I’d talk about… but I lied. While allowing the chance to listen to their music and interview them for the Band of the Week feature here on Blogcritics.org, the guys allowed me to hear a few songs that were still in the “tinkering” process. Though you can’t hear it, I’d just like to mention a song entitled “Quell” before I end this. Building on the foundation of their earlier recording, you can literally hear Inverse Order maturing into the great band that I think they’ll eventually be.

Not that I don’t think they’re great now, though. That’s not what I meant. I was trying to point out that I think these guys have the potential to keep growing and building on their musicianship until they’ll find themselves 20 years down the road looking back on this little interview/review feature… and wondering why they ever stooped so low as to let this “Jones guy” write about us… ‘cause they’ll be bonified rock stars.

Yeah, I like this band that much. Do yourself a favor by heading out to Inverse Order’s MySpace page and check out their music. Let them know when they do head out into the studio this winter to cut their first EP that, like me, you’ll be right there with money in hand for your own copy.

‘Cause, I’m not sharing mine!

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