[15 January 2008]
On this re-release of Innerpartysystem’s debut (and so far only) release The Download EP, the one thing I can’t fault the band for is their energy. Every minute of the 24, or so, on the EP is just bouncing through the speakers with the energy of a thrown superball in a tiny room. That said, there’s a crisis of identity happening on The Download EP, an inconsistency of vision that dooms the release to obscurity. Picture The Killers for a second. Now, imagine that Brandon Flowers’ name is actually Biff Johnson, and his personality is that of an iron-pumping badly-stereotyped frat boy. That’s the impression you get from The Download EP. Sometimes, lead vocalist Patrick Nissley just can’t stop yelling at you over walls of guitars and pounding beats. Other times, he goes the heavily pitch-corrected route, and sometimes he sings sensitive (but still propulsive) songs that carry an unforgivable air of insincerity to go along with their majesty. It’s never clear whether they want to make angry music or pretty music, but they don’t do either with any particular success. Maybe you’ll like the sub-Nine Inch Nails stomp of new track “Don’t Stop” well enough, or maybe you’ll prefer the leering majesty of “The Way We Move”, but the chance that you’ll like both is awfully small. Apparently, Innerpartysystem has an album coming out soon—hopefully, they’ll have picked a sound by then.