Tracklist: “Side Effect” * “What Is Left to Say” * “Siphon” * “Song of the Martyr” * “Torture” * “Surface” * “Time Doesn’t Care” * “The Signal” * “Hype” * “Permanent” * “Closure” | Artwork by: Sam Pfannkuche; Guitar: Adam Vex (tracks: 2, 4, 6, 7); Photography: Chad Michael Ward; Producer, mixed by, mastered by: Krischan Wesenberg*; Vocals [Additional]: Adam Vex (tracks: 6), Clint Carney (tracks: 6); Written by, recorded by: Ted Phelps
Read Viva Music’s review of Imperative Reaction’s “Surface” single release here.
Imperative Reaction “Imperative Reaction” – Viva Music Review:
Every time we encounter a band who title their album with their band name, there’s a different reason behind it. For Imperative Reaction, with their renewed musical creed, it’s like a definition album, pacing slowly but surely into what the band want themselves to be – and are nowadays.
The 11-track album is superlative. You can actually sneak listen to the hard work it incurred, and the novel manner in which the band wants to sound, and be received with. “Surface” was a good starting point for this vision, and their music surely makes one eager for more after their appetizing single release. Not long, so that the feeling rendered by “Surface” could actually fade away, there is “Imperative Reaction” to listen to and convince the listener of the quality music Imperative Reaction are up to. Two of the tracks, namely “Surface” and “What Is Left to Say” were already available in the single release of this summer, whilst the remaining nine are first-time and first-class listens.
“Side Effect” is the first of these good listens provided by the album. Powerful enough to get your attention and also to maintain it, it is most likely a testing rod for danceability and performs very well as a first and impressive track from the album. “What Is Left to Say”, one version of which we had the opportunity to listen to in the single release, sounds amazingly good in its raw version, and despite the fact that it is not a song bursting with optimism, it is really uplifting in the way it sounds and the way it moves. “You can fix this now”, the leitmotif of the song, becomes a sort of a chant of despair against the cruder reality that not all things can always be fixed.
After a decidedly good “Siphon”, the time is ripe for a very momentous “Song of the Martyr”. The feel imprinted by the title is present throughout the track: a magnificent beat and a really good sound accompany the exquisite vocals of the song. “Song of the Martyr” counts as a Viva Music favorite track, but it is not the only one! “Torture” and “Surface”, the many facets of which we were honored to listen to in the single release are just as fine, with the notable distinction that while “Torture” is a quieter and more flexible track, “Surface” confirms that it stands the test of time and indeed is tell-tale of good work and very good vibrations.
“Time Doesn’t Care” does not stand out of the album, but it’s common for good albums to have this plateau of quality; this does not make it a bad track, just that it’s as good as the remaining ones. “The Signal” is lighter in content, but bouncier and with an alert beat that defines, actually, the second half of the album. It is not dissimilar to Hype”, both making very good listening material, both ambient- and club-wise. “Permanent” is getting on with it, lording it; the track is not bad at all and the electronic construction behind it holds well with the vocal tempo – thus being one deal with harmony. With an ominous title, “Closure” does close the album, but does not actually highlight the end, but shrewdly makes one want more of this album! It is clearly a great addition to the album, and it could have stayed, were it not for its title, anywhere in the album’s progress. “Closure” sounds neat and to some extent it borrows musically from “What Is Left to Say”, and this is why, probably, it gives out this perfume of a beginning, not an end.
Imperative Reaction did a good job with their “Imperative Reaction” album and it’s worth your time and money. The album is truly versatile and it compliments any environment where it is played. Notwithstanding its general feel of darker, revolted, love-jilted and life-jilted lyrics, one comes to acknowledge that it’s actually a feel good album, giving as much of electronic music but also planting inside good alternative mock-ups and ultimately being a superlative album, every minute of it.