Indian Red Lopez – Commit – Album Review
As an Indian Red Lopez virgin, and having been told by someone whose opinion I value that these lads were worth a listen, I duly agreed to review their album “Commit”. It is due for release on March 17th via Cease:Stop records. IRL are five local guys made good – Mike Chang (lead vocals, guitar, keys, samplers), Dave Cherry (backing vocals, guitar, synth/keys), Darren Forsyth (backing vocals, bass, synth/keys), Danny Forsyth (backing vocals, guitars, bass, samples, synth) and Scott Maskame (drums, samples, percussion)
Sadly, I am unable to make any of the gigs, which after listening to the album a couple of times is something I will rectify as soon as I can!
Having gone back and listened to the debut “Empty Your Lungs and Breathe”, I can say the IRL are really finding their own sound and growing as a group. This new offering is a definite progression, and for this listener, definitely going in the right direction.
The opening track “Any Given City” opens the album really well, with a fantastic sound that makes the most of Mike Chang’s vocals and a beautiful harmony and melody. The electro-pop sound has moments reminiscent of Ultravox and other 80s influences. Very chilled out, but a haunting song that sticks in your head. This is a beautiful track and one of the highlights of the album for me. It does what a first track is meant to do, and makes you stop and listen, and gives you an inkling that you might just be in for a treat.
As a self-recorded album, between the bands own Aberdeen bunker and a cottage at Loch Fyne, this whole album sounds so clean and well produced.
Some of the tracks sound very “New Order” inspired, with a twist of “The Beloved” and other chilled out sounds mixed in. “No Longer Dying” utilises all these influences and works really well with Mike’s vocal style, and the synth and samples work really well to keep you interested in what is next up.
“At Night I Dream of Stormy Seas” is everything synth pop should be. This is a catchy wee tune with lyrics that get stuck in your head, with their own twist on it, so you stay listening.
“New Life On Loop” is the very quiet, blissed out track on the album. This is not a bad comment, but it is beautiful to fall asleep too. So laid back and soothing. Already my 5 year old son asks for it as his “bedtime song” I love it! A Brave choice for the middle of an album, being track 5 of the 11 offered, but it just works so well.
“Life Back In Me” – we all know the feeling of needing someone so much that they are your very breath, and that they are all we need. This is the song that’s been stuck in my head, and the one with the haunting lyrics that get stuck in your head – they’ve been in mine since hearing it.
“Silence Vacuum” is a slow build, but builds into a soaring cracker of a tune. Give it the time to build, and keep your fingers away from the fast forward button. Well worth the listen, and another that evokes memories of 80s and 90s electro pop at its best. The along the lines of “The Smiths” but happier and less floor gazing!
The last of the 11 tracks “Commit” is a great track to end an album with. It’s the perfect culmination for the rest of the album, and ends on a high note, with what I think is the strongest, most accomplished and polished track on the album. This would be the track I’d share first with someone who hasn’t heard of IRL. Catchy hook in the tune, layers of vocals, and plenty to make you wish there were a few more tracks!
As a newbie to IRL, I can definitely say that this album will become a firm favourite – it is not ground breaking, but does take me back, and does it very well. A decent sounding offering from the band, and supporting the local music and arts scene, fantastic! Love the album, and will be adding an IRL t-shirt to my collection of gig shirts as soon as I can, and just hope these lads perform as well live as the recording suggests they might.
Words by Pierced Princess.