ALBUM REVIEWS


I Am X
THE ALTERNATIVE
GENEPOOL RECORDS 29.10.07
@www.vanguard-online.co.uk


Having never heard of IAMX, I was a little apprehensive as to what I was going to find on this CD. That was, at least, until I discovered that IAMX = Chris Corner from Sneaker Pimps, and things started to fall into place. IAMX originates from the UK, but is based in Berlin, so the album inevitably has a varied and, at times, slightly bizarre sound. There are elements of Bowie and Gary Numan in here, but you still get a portion of Sneaker Pimps mixed in for good measure.

Opening track “President” is OK, but didn’t blow me away. The following song “The Alternative” is more noticeable, with its plodding beat and thoughtful vocal sound. Then the quiet before the storm of “Nightlife”, which transports you to a sweaty Berlin euro-trance club and is astonishingly enjoyable. I’m really not a fan of any musical genre that ends –nce, but I am willing to make an exception here. The bass and drums are brutal, but held together perfectly.

“Lulled By Numbers” is a little on the dull side (perhaps by comparison), but contains musical layers that meant I just couldn’t skip it. By “Song Of Imaginary Beings”, the album is starting to get away from me. From a promising start, it’s now becoming a little too Germanic for my liking, like a Euro remix of a Rod Stewart track.

And then the record starts to move in another direction. “The Negative Sex”, an angry, shouty monster of a track, reaches Soundgarden and camps out in the middle of it. Suddenly IAMX is less Chris Corner and more Chris Cornell. Sadly, this doesn’t last. “Bring Me Back A Dog” falls back into the metal/grime category, with what sounds like a steel bar being used as percussion. And the tale, rather than being a request for someone to return to IAMX with a pet, is a request for God to resurrect him as a dog in his next life. I think I can use the word ‘strange’ here quite happily.

“Spit It Out” is a stadium anthem that needs to be played loud. It may not have a singalong chorus, but it certainly makes up for that through the chest-beating drumbeat.

So it’s a bit of a mixed bag. To be honest, there are really only four or five tracks worth listening to regularly on this album, so I’d recommend downloading these, rather than all of them together. Recommendations: “Nightlife” and “The Negative Sex”.

www.iamx.co.uk


Simon Middleyard