April 24, 2024

IMAGINARY PEOPLE – October Alice     is a hallucinatory fairground ride of impelling post-punk and dark mystery

FIVE DIAMONDS              28th April 2017

Open with your strongest track isn’t bad advice for a band and the big swirling indie post-punk stomp of Snapshot, with its elements of fairground organ sets you up for the rest. Dylan Von Wagner’s voice sits somewhere between Pere Ubu’s David Thomas and Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring, his vibrato marking the tracks out as special. The drum beats swing like a donkey’s dick and I defy you to sit still during this. The band cunningly used two drum kits, siting one in a grain silo for maximum sonic effect. The rest of the band recorded in the rest of the barn and the effect is a reverb-packed wave of sound, yet still with bite and attack.

Songs range from the racy and dancey to the impelling and intense but always with the drums leading, pushing forward. Imaginary People are a New York quintet on their second album, obsessed with dark themes of murder, paranoia, revenge, regret, melancholia. So much for the themes – despite them, somehow this carries an urge to dance. The guitar weaves solos in and out of those drums, with elements of fuzz backing the pinpoint focus. Keys colour it all and the effect is big, beaty post-punk, the sort of thing you can put on at a party and get people dancing.

There are slower tracks; Long For The Rue has the pace and feeling of the much-missed Robert Fisher’s Willard Grant Conspiracy but songs like Half Step that follow, carry a drunken fairground spin of organ-infused smells and sensations.

Big sound, impelling beat, dark feelings, great production. Expect big things from this band.

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