Unfortunately I missed the recent Halestorm tour and my first chance to see In This Moment live after their cancelled headline shows in recent years. Getting to grab the new album Mother from our review pile kind of softened the blow, though.
In This Moment are known for their theatrical stage show, and this whole album pretty much sums this style up over fourteen tracks. This is a release that could be performed from beginning to end live and I’d not put it past Ms Brink and co to wrap some kind of story around it all. The track order is unusual, though – typically off-the-wall for the band, to be fair.
The opening three tracks are an “interlude”, a cover and another interlude. The cover is a very interesting reworking of “Fly Like An Eagle” (originally by the Steve Miller Band, not the Stereophonics song of the same name). Brink’s trademark throaty vocals are backed by increasingly rousing sawtooth guitars and thumping rhythm before echoing off into the distance. Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) and Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless) join the band for another cover later on – Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, which is about as different from the original as you could get and still be recognisable. If a band has ever stamped their own identity on a classic track, it’s right here. This isn’t a straight lift so much as a complete reworking from the ground up.
So what about the original material? There’s no shortage and it’s as gothic and overblown as you’d expect. Title track “Mother” starts off pretty creepily and odd (no surprise there) but grows and grows. It’s a powerful number, near balladic, and definitely rates as a stand-out song, deservedly having its name plastered on the cover. The first track you may have heard, “The In-Between” (video below), is a creepy number to start and then absolutely hammers the beat down. The second track, released a few days ago, is “As Above So Below” which is a very different side of the band. Catchier and more upbeat, the pair do a good job of emphasising the variety of styles on Mother. This is the one that’ll stick in your head, “The In-Between” is the track that’ll crush your head.
This is In This Moment’s strength (aside from their brilliant overall image, with great musicians and an incredible frontwoman) – they can do radio-friendly, and they can metal it up with the best of them. But through it all is that undeniable quirk, the dark and twisted undertone that holds your interest. That they manage to hang the image over a succession of good albums makes them a band deserving of their continued rise in popularity. I’ll be honest, Mother took a little more getting into overall than Black Widow but it was worth the couple of listens for the hooks to sink in.
Here’s hoping the next time they plan a headline tour in the UK I finally get to see them!
Mother is out on March 27th – order it on Amazon to help support this site!