reviewed by Jack Derricourt
Kevin Immense is the newest project by former Oxfordshire lad Evan Clements. The young songsmith played in the UK’s scrappy band Poledo — not to be mistaken with the CanCon twin band from the 90s — before settling in Kelowna, BC to write zany, 2015, shred pop. When you turn a song on in the heart of the new year, it needs to be filled with just the right proportions of hope and ennui. Monsieur Immense’s new EP release, 1, is holding the magic ratio in its every beat, showing a way forward while throwing up a rude salute to everything to do with planning and goal tending.
The production on 1 is of the bedroom variety: distant sounding, though impactful, drums; compressed guitars; little vocal affectation. It fits the bill for a youthful sounding record about aging.
What does Mr. Immense have to say about growing old? Well, denial is the greatest form of flattery: “This Isn’t Growing Up” is the kind of song statement that ends with a question mark, and the flat, chugging bass line coupled with the resonant guitar chords keep the mind reflecting as the lyrics flow off into the night. Kevin also likes to lament his own place outside the gettin-er-done style of economics: “Wurking for the Man” pulses with alternative guitar scrubs and thrashy drums, keeping Gen X alive for the tabloid lovers.
There are heavy hitters on this album filled with music and lyrics. “Best Day” is a single and a half, tottering with guitar solos of all varieties (mostly the languorously wailing kind). It also instils some nice post-colonial disdain for “the good old days” — a much needed, thoughtful lyric twist. My personal favourite is “I Deflate,” which begins with snide sighs and ends with a flash bang grenade of escalating duo guitar solos.
1 is a trip to the heart of the aging mind. The five songs that make up this complicated creature of a record contain classic components, capable of burrowing into the new year with rabid listenability. Whatever happened between Oxford and Kelowna, Kevin Immense made a change, and he made it good. Check out the record, see what it has to offer you in this year of the sheep . . . or is it the ram? The lady at the Canada Post office couldn’t tell me for sure. Ram on!
Top Track: “I Deflate”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)