This CD was suggested to me by staff member Robby. I put off listening to it for a day. Really bad decision. Featuring a handful of members from Under A Dying Sun, this is not the type of band you would expect. Atmospheric, almost haunting guitars, female vocals, spoken word, this CD has it all. The first spoken word track, "No Set Combination," stands out to me the most. Not only is it an incredibly sad story but, the technique they apply is truly creative. The story focuses on two people's events during a break up. When the focus changes, the vocals switch from one channel to another. This incredible setup is perfect for listening to it in headphones for the first time. The drums on this record have a very hollow sound giving the band an almost trip hop feel at times. This is most apparent on track 5, which is untitled. This CD puts Substandard even higher on my favorite labels list. Once the Spotlight Syndicate CD is released, they may be on top.
Prior to listening to this album, having seen Inventing Edward twice, I thought I had a pretty decent idea what the band was going for: minimalist soundscapes, brooding vocals and a fine balance between loud and soft. Inventing Edward presents these elements on We've Met an Impasse (by Midnight We'll be Naked), however the delivery lacks the rawness and excitement that comes when seeing the band live.
"Dr. Hyde" is a prime example of the band's shortcomings. The guitars get repetitive causing the song quickly to become ponderous and seemingly drawn-out. Maybe if "Sky" turned his levels down, the guitar may have provided atmospheric dynamics, however our being able to hear it so well gives us the hope that he plans to progress the song. But he never follows through, as is often the case with these spacey, instrument based bands. And from this always comes disappointment.
Its not to say the album is "over-produced" or even formulaic. I hear the reported spontenaity with the well-placed cymbal flourishes and jazzy guitar transisitions. "Listen to the Quiet Voice" at first listen, sounds a little bubbly like Tristeza, but it presents a mélange of moods and ideas (something Tristeza lacks), ranging from the gentle, optimistic Rhodes piano to the onerous guitars. Some of the intense moments are particularly captivating. In the fourteen-minute epic "Go Dawn Fire" which begins with Shaye singing "I could make you believe" and quickly launches into "The Muthafuckin' Jam" complete with loud crescendos and spoken word bits tucked under the music
Shaye's voice over the "big" music draws obvious comparisons to Beth Gibbons or Maura Davis (Denali). Her impressive showing is on "Defiant Coals" adds a strong dynamic to the music and makes the song particularly haunting. The album also features spoken word artists. The song "No Set Combination", a spoken word piece, with piano and jazzy guitar that set a pace and movement with the poetry drowning in verbiage. Come on... does the guy really need to use the word "antediluvian" to describe a time before a rainstorm? The song "Etude" is a man's drunken telling of a relationship with a lady whom he meets in jail. The speaker, Zane is does a great job of sounding intoxicated, but his telling is uninspired and dry.
Perhaps, We've Met an Impasse (by Midnight We'll be Naked), like its name, is too profound to understand, or perhaps there is nothing to it. Inventing Edward stand on the edge of a diving board with a deep pool of texture and movement below. With We've Met an Impasse, they teeter on the edge, but never take that essential plunge.
6.5 / 10
Reviewed by 2 writers.
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