Over the past few years, we’ve seen a substantial number of new indie rock artists take over the radio. Foster The People, Gotye, fun., Awolnation, Young The Giant and Grouplove have all become glistening spectacles of the ever-popular genre of contemporary alternative. So, if you enjoy the music of any of those bands I just stated – or even if you haven’t – it’s probably about time you check out the next big thing in indie rock: Imagine Dragons.
Dazzling listeners with a highly impressive debut EP earlier this year, Imagine Dragons have done an immaculate job at opening our eyes and ears to their music. I’m sure that over the past couple months, almost everyone who’s flipped on FM radio at least once has heard “Radioactive” or “Demons.” These two tracks can be described in two words: fun jams. I’m usually that one guy who can’t stand modern alternative radio, but, with “We Are Young” and “Somebody That I Used to Know” getting old fast, it was nice to hear something different for once. Continued Silence shrugged off any of my personal sentiments that these guys would become a one- or two-hit wonder. And because these guys were also a worthy play in my iTunes library, I highly anticipated their first full-length release, Night Visions.
Night Visions is, like I said, a glistening spectacle. Imagine Dragons combine flashy, pristine guitar melodies with loads of percussion, and the wondrous instrumentation is held together tightly by sweet verses and choruses. The band reminds me dearly of Awolnation, but the similarities between the two seem to be minimal. Rather, these guys combine everything worth loving about modern indie-rock, assuring listeners that no one element of their sound would grow stale. Present are the harmonies of fun., the catchiness of Foster The People and the atmospheric feel of Young The Giant. The result is something quite addictive, and something absolved from my alternative radio displeasure.
What also makes Night Visions such a grand release is its diversity. African sound effects, deep, driven drum beats, and noisy pop melodies litter the air, with tracks like “Tiptoe” and the jungle-esque “On Top of the World” sure to give listeners a chilling embrace. The album is anything but a drag; each song brings variety and captivation – even if these guys follow many of the similar trends of today’s indie rock sensations. Though there are some songs that stick out more than others, Night Visions doesn’t hold much room for skippable material.
Imagine Dragons may bring many gimmicks and cover everything in appealing gloss and polish to hide their flaws, but they still have produced a solid alternative indie formula. I see multiple tracks off their debut becoming radio hits, and since when has that been a bad thing? If these guys have their fingers crossed on becoming the next indie rock sensation, then they should raise their heads high and break out the party hats. I may be a bit distraught by a lot of modern alternative music, but Imagine Dragons is one group I can tolerate, and that’s because their highly-substantive, hook-driven debut is one that neither lacks variety nor charming enticement.