Childhood friends Stevie Kincade (vocals) and Josh Weir (multi-instrumentalist) make up the duo Initiates. The band is set to release a double album called Initiation sometime in 2015. Apparently the first five songs released make up the first half of the "rock" disc and they are delivering a second “melodic” disc later. I have to be honest here that I’m a bit confused by this marketing plan. Are they saying the second disc doesn't rock out or that the first disc isn’t melodic? Seems to me you would want both discs to be melodic. Either way that’s how they are putting this project together, and they released Initiation (Preview EP), which displays the first half. The songs are very varied and simply put I think the band pulls off some styles much better than others.
I thought the obvious highlight was the last song “Turn out the Light.” The guys attempt a country/rock hybrid and nail it. The songwriting, lyrical delivery, lyrics and hook are all there. Kincade sounds like a different singer depending on the style they play but hopefully this is the one they stick to in the future. On top of that I thought the lyrics avoided clichés and were original. He sings, “So put out the light I’m not coming home / The light In the darkness of your mind. Try to calm your nerve tonight. You can’t buy a saviour.”
Although in a completely different direction “Blackhearted” was an electronic/rock hybrid that had some decent moments. The production brings Nine Inch Nails to mind to some extent. It delivers a couple of notable hooks and seems prime for commercial radio.
“Demise” and “Pitchfork” were both pretty much straight up hard rock. Bands like Queens Of Stone, Alice N Chains and Nirvana come to mind. Both these songs felt FM radio friendly to me.
I respect the band for attempting and sometimes pulling off radically different genres but I can’t imagine a harder way for them to build a fan base. Let's hypothetically says someone really enjoyed the last song ““Turn out the Light” and then previewed the rest of the album to find a myriad of styles they weren’t as apt to enjoy. I’m imagining that would diminish the likelihood of someone purchasing the album.
The good news is the band has yet to release their “melodic.” Hopefully this release will make a little bit more sense somehow. If it doesn't the band might want to consider blending genres into their own original signature sound or just becoming a country rock band.
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