The Ladder The Climb The Fall is the latest album from InCrest, a Danish grunge-rock trio. With a sound that takes it’s influence from the early 90’s golden age of alternative rock, the album manages to capture that essence completely, while still leaving enough room for the band to have a distinct musical identity. One might not expect that a Danish band could emulate the Seattle sound so convincingly, but InCrest has done just that. The Ladder The Climb The Fall often alternates between grunge and hard rock, sometimes blending the two. The opening track, No Second Chance has a peppy kind of “speed grunge” feel to it, in contrast to some of the dreary, dragging pace and whiny tone that’s often associated with lighter alternative music. The faster pace songs on this release remind me a bit of stuff from groups like Rollins Band. It’s cynicism and commentary but with balls. After the opening song, the album settles into a more conventionally paced heavy grunge style with Nightcrawler, (a song which boasts an excellent, attention grabbing guitar intro.) This is actually my favorite track of this release and from a quality standpoint ranks right up there with the top hits of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam (though it’s probably not going to get the same level of exposure and recognition.)
One criticism that’s often (usually unfairly) leveled at grunge bands is that they’re less skilled at playing their instruments, and that this is masked by the heavy distortion. That’s certainly not the case with InCrest. On this album they give a polished performance, displaying a lot of artful musical detail and precision timing. Even the vocals are right on point. The final song on the album, Neversleep is a good example of the softer, delightfully detailed musicality the band is capable of. One final note is the production quality on this album is major label tier. This is not some lo-fi, Sebadoh styled kind of obscure, indie art project (although I love that stuff.) In the right place and at the right time, this music would be on the radio and the band would be giving jaded performances in stadiums.
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