Release date: November 6, 2007
Label: Independent release
This is the debut, self-titled album from four-piece Ontario band In Its Wake, a group whose front man describes their music as ?alternative soul rock.?
I agree wholeheartedly with this self-labelling. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that alternative, soul, and rock music can be properly blended while still retaining any aspects of musical interest and appeal. Often it is difficult enough for a purely soul band, or a purely rock band, to avoid generic pitfalls and to come through with a unique and compelling sound. In Its Wake have sold themselves short in terms of songwriting because I think this band could offer a lot more than has been pressed on In Its Wake.
The seven-track album is not what I would call inspiring, at least four out of seven times; there are three redeeming songs that give a glimpse into another possible reality for the band.
?Beneath the Waves? and ?Faces? are two songs that would fit easily into the alternative section; the difference between these tracks and the rest of the record is that they don’t simply melt into the background.
While most songs on this record are generally pleasant they are largely forgettable; ?Beneath the Waves? and ?Faces? have a little more to offer in the way of composition and basic appeal. The hard-rock guitar intro on ?Faces? and the riff played in ?Beneath the Waves? draw you in where the other songs just let your mind wander.
The greatest track on this record is ?Give my Regards,? not only because it breaks free of the rock/alternative/soul mould in favour of reggae but because the musicians are great at playing this type of music.
This song was a very pleasant surprise on an otherwise rather bland record; it made me want to sit back, light up a smoke, and enjoy myself. I think this one track is indicative of what In Its Wake could accomplish with their music if they let loose and gave up their tendencies toward the composition of songs that might be overheard in a laid-back jazz bar where the music is secondary to the company and the food.
Without the breakout track, In Its Wake is sadly unimpressive despite the obvious musical talents of the band members and their desire to create something that can’t be described in terms of one genre. A few songs are worth remembering, but the rest of them really have no hope of sticking in your memory.