Create To Inspire - 'Sickness' Album Review
I’ll start this review with a confession that the drafting period went for a bit longer than usual, and ultimately I was working on this as the horrible incident in Manchester took place.So I would just like to dedicate a sentence or two to all the poor souls lost or injured in that tragic incident and all the families and friends, my heart truly goes out to you. But also to commend all those who took the time to help in any way they could, doctors and nurses who worked tirelessly, people offering places to stay, free lifts and sometimes even just a comforting ear or shoulder to cry on.People like yourselves are the ones who restore my faith in humanity, and we would all be lost without you.
If you yourself wish to help in any way you can, a crowdfunding page has been made and all donations will go to help those affected: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/westandtogethermanchester
Additionally you can donate to the Human Appeal which is one of the UK's largest Muslim humanitarian Charities: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/muslimsformanchester
Now moving swiftly on to the review!
I have to say on my first couple of times listening to 'Sickness' by the Essex lads known as Create To Inspire I was running around trying to get my friends to listen because I wanted them to enjoy it as much as I did. As this is the first full length album I’ll have reviewed I might have to alter my usual format to make sure you’ve not lost your whole night reading it.
When the Album opens up with the first track ‘Agony’ I didn’t know quite what I was in for, the lead in is a quiet little solo before the whole band smashes in together. Normally I’m weary of this kind of intro but it quickly made sense as it helped develop the tone of the track. I personally prefer the first track of an album to blast its way in, it’s my opinion that you want to drag the listener into the album from the first beat. To me that’s fast tempos, thundering bass and drum and chugging guitars, but obviously that’s down to my own preference. As the album goes on however this choice of opening track starts to make more and more sense.
The second track ‘Recluse’ booms it’s way in next with a small guitar intro and acts as a stark contrast to the first. The tone is instantly heavier, the vocals much more dominated by shouts, the whole band are really going ham and the chorus is catchy as hell. The third track ‘Regret’ comes in with a similar format to the second track but that doesn’t mean it’s identical. After another guitar intro before a full accompaniment from the band, this track moves into Bass and Drum heavy verses, allowing to really set a mood for the vocals. I found this really effective for setting up the chorus to really blow you away.
The fourth track ‘Loss’ was a bit of an anomaly for me, the track opens with a bit of guitar and a backing track which gave the vocals a good opportunity to shine through, but I must admit it took me a few listens to really get into it. I’ll always be the first to admit I'm a big fan of this side of things, I find myself struggling to keep my finger away from the skip button. That is purely down to me having the attention span of a child and needing constant stimulation. If you prefer the broodier side of music, this track ticks all the boxes, and ultimately served as a great lead into the fifth track.
‘Sinking’ is absolutely my favourite track of this album and if you’ve read more than the first paragraph of any of my other reviews (or maybe even if you haven’t!) you can probably guess it’s because this track throws itself head first into your face and gets nuts deep in whatever part of you fills you up with adrenaline! Adhering to a formula that Create To Inspire have shown they love, this track opens with a guitar intro and works toward a build up with the rhythm section and then before you know it, your neighbors are saying hello because you’ve just accidentally headbanged through your wall.
Now I get the feeling the guys thought this might happen, so they mercifully chose ‘Outlet’ to take the reins next, which is a gentle instrumental interlude. I’ve seen this done on the odd album in the past and I’ve never had a situation where it doesn’t work amazingly well, except maybe if you’ve got your player on shuffle. Then before you know it ‘Sickness’ brings you back to reality with a wicked little drum intro picking us back up from our concussed stupor. The tempo is sped back up and now the tone seems a bit more upbeat, and then the chorus comes back in to slow us down again for some reflection.
As I made my way to the later tracks in the album, the titles start to make a lot more sense. ‘Cope’ comes in with a full band intro, I started to realise the band have been taking me on a bit of a journey and the tone and feel of the songs were all telling something of a story. The beauty of music is that the story can be entirely down to your own interpretation.‘Blue’ Strengthened that thought for me as it comes in with a more lighter feeling intro and verses allowing for a higher pitch in the vocals during the chorus, which helped to show the kind of range these guys are capable of vocally as well as musically.
Finally ‘Adjust’ brings us home, with a decent tempo and a heavier feel once more leaving us a newly adjusted (pardon the pun) and productive member of society once more.
To conclude (I’ll try to keep it brief) I really enjoyed 'Sickness' by Create To Inspire, and they certainly have themselves a new fan in me.
However I am always against giving top marks to bands as I like to leave something to strive for, so some constructive criticism from me is, that a lot of the songs felt at times like they were comprised of very similar parts in terms of structure and intros and so maybe try to shake up the status quo a bit.
Other than that I cannot fault this album and I would highly recommend you all go and listen to it however possible as soon as you can!
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Review - Ric Snell