I was listening to Alt Nation’s Alt-18 countdown on Sirius XM yesterday, and amongst the several new artists I hadn’t yet heard was a band called Imagine Dragons. My interest was piqued at the name alone. So, when this week’s number nine on the countdown was ID’s “It’s Time” I listened intently. I love the feeling when you hear a new artist for the first time. No one told me about them. No one recommended a song or album, I was discovering a new band for the very first time with a fresh perspective and no expectations. I will tell you that something must have clicked, because as soon as the song was over, I was on my phone, pulling up their EP on iTunes.
Through six tracks, Imagine Dragons invokes shades of Coldplay and Linkin Park. The former is evident in the tones of lead singer Dan Reynolds’ emotive voice and the latter in the epic, sometimes melodramatic, instrumentals, sounding like something that would appear on the forthcoming Mockingjay Soundtrack, if it were directed by Michael Bay.
I can’t stress enough that, throughout the EP, the comparisons I drew were to Coldplay. Though I’m not a huge Coldplay fan, I do mean this in a good way. From the initial track, “Radioactive”, a chilling post-apocalyptic tune filled with crunchy Doritos Locos Tacos-esque bass lines and a snappy drum beat that will force you to bob your head, you can tell this EP is followed by IC.
“Demons” is deceptively upbeat, given the subject matter; overcoming your inner demons. Here Reynolds’ vocals are smooth, accented by a driving piano line and voracious drum beats. It’s a fun song.
From the moment I heard the clap happy, whistle fueled beat of “On Top of the World,” I thought it familiar. Sounding like the lovechild of Vampire Weekend and Andrew Bird, this track is sure to be a hit given enough radio play. As I’m listening to the album on Spotify, it hits me that the hook of this song plays for a few seconds on the few commercials associated with the free Spotify application.
“Round and Round” unfortunately for Ratt fans, is not a cover. Its repetition of lyrics gives the illusion of a wide open space and echoes. It’s a somewhat slower song with big moments peppered in. The drumming on the track reminds me of marching. If nothing else, it’s catchy.
“It’s Time” is their current single and my first introduction to ID. It’s a bouncy fun track and probably the most commercial, radio friendly song on the EP, though none of them are what I would call not Radio friendly. This song was chosen as their first music video. The imagery in the video itself captures the feel of the album perfectly. Reynolds shows some grit in his voice on this song and it features some nice backing vocals that compliment his voice.
The final track on the EP is “My Fault.” For some reason this song, while still reminding me a lot of Coldplay, reminds me of The Classic Crime. Maybe it’s the breakdowns or the melodies, or the tone of the vocals. I even hear a hint of Weezer on this track. It’s a decent closer that leaves me feeling unresolved. The album ends abruptly and I’m thinking…that’s it? Really?
If nothing else, fans of this album will be left intrigued and wanting more. Luckily, the band intends to release a full length album sometime later this year. They will be busy until then with touring and of course recording. Personally, my interest was piqued just enough to seek out their two prior EPs, an eponymous EP and their Hell and Silence EP. If you want to check out their album, you can find it on iTunes (Currently $5.64.) For tour dates, check them out on Facebook.