Review Summary: A massive improvement for a band that vastly needed a change, this is a unique and thoroughly entertaining release.
InMe are a band that was once popular with hit songs such as Underdose tapping into the nu-metal craze of the early 2000's that have since shrunk into the shadow of obscurity. The reasons for this would be frontman Dave McPherson's obsession with wanting to ditch their "boy band" past and create something a little different. The result of this experimentation became more and more apparent as their career went on, with Daydream Anonymous being the first album to really signal any manner of change for the band.
Their sound had previously been rooted in the alternative metal and nu-metal genres for their first two releases but all this was to change. White Butterfly and Overgrown Eden had used simplistic guitar work with no degree of technicality whatsoever and very whiny vocals akin to bands like My Chemical Romance that were successful then. They also had a fair amount of screaming scattered throughout to keep a feeling of variety despite how monotnous much of the instrumental work was. It was decided that on Daydream Anonymous they would take a different approach and so their music morphed and changed into a whole new breed of animal. The band now upped the ante in guitar technicality and Dave sculpted his vocals into a low-pitched, heavily accented style that would characterize their new music.
Daydream Anonymous is far more in line with hard rock with the aforementioned more technical bent to it but also has a few softer ballads to keep the album flowing well. The album opens up with Myths And Photographs which starts with a heavily distorted scream. Following a ringing chord and the shout of "one, two, three, four" in the back ground, the riffing comes in properly. In place of the monotonous chugging that infested the band's prior work is a mass of notes played quickly and yet retaining a solid groove that keeps an air of being unique throughout. Nowhere out there will you find a band that sounds remotely like what the band achieved on Daydream Anonymous with their guitar work. Whilst there is the odd chuggy moment there is almost always an influx of rapid playing on the same songs aside from on the ballads which do not require this level of complexity. It is worth noting that the songs do not feel disjointed because of the new found level of technical proficiency and nor does it seem as though the band is aimlessly showing off. The riffs to the songs perfectly fit the nature of the album and are both listenable and more than enjoyable.
Another of the things that this album does very well is ensure that it is catchy throughout. There is definitely the odd cheesy lyric but that does not matter when one considers how infectious the choruses to songs such as I Won't Let Go are. This is an album where every vocal pattern and line is measured up against the others so that no idea is repeated very often and yet everything is completely memorable. It isn't just the vocals that will stay in your head either as the lead guitar lines are often balanced against the rhythmic chugging from Dave on songs like Far-Reaching for maximum effect. When one considers how well the two guitarists play off against each other and that their guitar patterns are still exceedingly memorable this album really succeeds in ways that so many fail. The vocal performance is a very strong one and the softer moments of songs are more than often the better sections which is something their following album would disband altogether in favor of the more aggressive vibe. The interludes to Far-Reaching and A Toast To Broken Glass may well be some of the best hard rock tunes in recent years; with the latter leading into a nice scream that could not have been better placed. Dave definitely changed his vocal style for the better on this release.
The lyrics are thought provoking and will likely remain rooted in your mind for hours after first hearing them. Whilst I Won't Let Go has the very cheesy chorus to it this does not distract from how well written and emotional the verses are. In place of the suicide themes that really dragged down their earlier works are a variety of much more mature songs. Thanks For Leaving Me in particular is one that hits hard on the emotions with its chorus and very deep verses. This song is one of the aforementioned ballads on the album alongside the likes of Turbulence which both hold up the softer side of the band's sound hinted at by moments on their past releases and remain two of the band's best compositions to date. For those interested in the heavier side of the band's music you had best check out Cracking The Whip which has a spectacular chorus and some really intricate guitar work. A Toast To Broken Glass has the best bridge on the album and is guaranteed to please, as will Myths & Photographs.
Daydream Anonymous is the band's strongest and most mature album to date. The next album would expand more on the technical guitar work which is definitely one of the highlights of this release to even greater results but the band has not matched the power that this varied album has.