Friday, April 06, 2012

Imbroco – Are You My Lionkiller? (2000)

With an impressive line-up that includes Scott McCarver (ex-Mineral), Gabe Wiley (Pop Unknown, ex-Mineral), Matt Breedlove ( Pop Unknown ) and Rory Phillips (The Impossibles, ex-The Stereo), an element of pure, experience-bred songwriting can be expected. Beautiful instrumentation, immaculate guitar work, meticulous percussion and tender vocals deliver an onslaught of what is truly respectable in the underground. One of three bands to rise from the ashes of Mineral (others include Pop Unknown and The Gloria Record).
A must have.


 "In that period between the breakup of Mineral and during the early days of Pop Unknown came Imbroco, and Deep Elm has finally pulled their songs together for release. With Scott McCarver and Gabe Wiley from Mineral, it's easy to hear the edgy power of that band on Are You My Lionkiller? But with Wiley and Matt Breedlove also in Pop Unknown, it's also easy to hear the development of that band. Rory Phillips, formerly of The Stereo and currently The Impossibles, has a voice that can go from soft and pretty to emotionally on the verge of screaming in an instant, and although he sounds a bit cleaner and lighter than some emo bands' vocalists, he works perfectly here. So, you probably guessed what Imbroco sounds like: powerful, emotional, guitar-driven post-hardcore rock with beautiful melodic moments and moments of sheer, almost screaming intensity. Imbroco haven't been around for a while, and you're just hearing about it now, but thank Deep Elm for bringing these songs back. Because, if you're like me and you can't ever get enough of Mineral and post-Mineral style emotional rock, you're going to be longing desperately for these songs. Powerful, emotional, and held barely held in check from breaking into chaotic intensity, these songs deserve to be heard. And with beautiful packaging, this disc deserves to be had."
Delusions of Adequacy

 "Are You My Lionkiller is a dream almost tailor-made for fans of melodic, dynamic, lush, and rolling pop, with edges crashing on rock and sonic outburst like hysterics filling the spaces between the waves. I think these guys fall a bit closer to the pop-rock catch of Pop Unknown, but the last song heads toward the streaming, dreaming soul of what used to be Mineral with soaring beauty and melodic ache. Both clean and beautiful, creaming and scratched, it fills you, ocean wide."
Big Takeover

 "What's that old adage? From a small seed grow tall trees or something? Well, that could easily be applied to Imbroco's songs on Are You My Lionkiller? They usually start off small, quiet, introspective — like Holy Rollers or Elliot even — before they start to grow. They grow beyond all proportion until they have a sound that a juggernaut could pass through, with room to spare. The quality tunesmithery should come as no surprise though, bearing in mind they include two members of Pop Unknown, two members of the brilliant Mineral and the vocalist from The Impossibles. Hearing Imbroco in full flow is really an uplifting awe-inspiring sound and that's not to mention the way they can suddenly call a halt to that and reduce things to a subtle jangling guitar and fragile vocal. Another winner from the continually impressive Deep Elm roster."

 "Imbroco are a swirl of soothing but occasionally harsh dynamics... The album's opener "Sixty Six Thousand Miles An Hour" is an assortment of powerful, driving riffs seemlessly blended with gentle, warm resonating guitar...this is nothing short of essential."

 "Yet another winning band from Deep Elm. Imbroco has a good history and Are You My Lionkiller is a six song EP that makes an impression with its schizophrenic approach. Imbroco confronts you with soft, sensitive, sweet nothings out in the lobby and then strong arms you once you're inside. This album is a definite powerhouse. It's super solid and smooth to the last drop. With gentle strumming, poetic lyrics and some outstanding drumming, Imbroco will win you over."

 "The haunting pop echoes that resonate throughout 'Are You My Lionkiller?' prove that this album is as good as anything any of their respective bands have put out. From great power-pop guitar work as in the opening cut 'Sixty-Six Thousand Miles An Hour' to slow and artsy emo as in 'The Rain That Falls Won't Slow Me Down,' this record covers a lot of musical territory. Each songs seems to be an organic whole that runs the gauntlet of emotion from soft and introspective moments to crushing, guitar distortion and howling vocals. This is a truly impressive effort."

 "Imbroco is one of those bands that doesn't have a problem going from soft to loud in the same song. The guitar tones are really cool, ringing out when they are quiet and becoming crushing when they are loud. The vocal delivery of Rory Phillips is great and he fits in naturally with the rest of the band members. Are You My Lionkiller? is just a great pop rock record."
Music Emissions

 "Imbroco is having none of this modern emo sound. Nope, just a strident guitar sound injected into fairly atonal anthems. Oh, and lots of distortion. Kinda like dusting Frosted Flakes with sugar, if you know what I mean. Swerving radically from the sublime to the buzzsaw, Imbroco also hews tightly to the line. I've always liked this sound...Imbroco does it well."
Aiding And Abetting

 "Imbroco is a 'supergroup' of sorts from the big-ass Austin, Texas scene. The result breaks a lot of emo rules, and takes the sounds of both 'parent' bands far beyond anywhere they'd gone before. My favorite is 'The Rain That Falls Won't Slow Me Down' which starts with tense, subtle drumming and almost whispered vocals, rises to a gorgeous chorus featuring an almost perfectly catchy melody, and then builds even further to a crescendo of fiery guitars and tormented howling. These guys really, truly understand that whole 'quiet-loud' dynamic, and use it to great effect all over the place on Lionkiller. At the start, "Sixty Six Thousand Miles An Hour" reminds me a great deal of slower, more introspective rock (particularly underrated Merge indie-pop/rockers Spent)...but then the loud-as-hell guitars come thundering in and demolish anything 'quiet' or understated in their path. I won't pretend to have any clue what this album's about me but I'd bet most of the tracks on Lionkiller are love songs, judging from the delicate, shy-kid artwork on the sleeve, Rory Phillips' heartbroken yell and the lyrics. The closing line of the midtempo, winter-cold "October, November, Ohio" is perhaps the most telling: "This torch I hold is all that keeps me from burning down."

 "Imbroco has a fascinating style, sometimes sounding discordant. But then it's made clear a couple seconds later that the apparent discordance was all part of their subtle plan. There's obviously a lot of work put into this great layering of instrumentation and varied tempo and dynamics, yet it has a sound that is innocent and unpretentious. Excellent work with distortion."
Impact Press

 "With an impressive lineup, Imbroco is a band who's resume speaks for itself. On Are You My Lionkiller? the new combo is quite impressive...wonderful songwriting and meticulous instrumentation. The sound is poppy indie rock that makes you wanna bob your head and smile."

 "There's some pedigree breeding going on here as Imbroco consist of Gabe and Matt of Pop Unknown, Scott ex of Mineral and Rory of The Impossibles (as well as their respective bands prior to current engagements) so you know before you even press play that you're going to get quality. Quite aptly their sound lies somewhere in between all those bands, with emo-pop genius, slow moody ambles and upbeat rockier riffs molded together into one solid sound. They sail smoothly along in a stream of deep and dreamy rock, that occasionally hardens itself into noisy feedback coated choruses. Very neat indie-rock."

 "Consisting of members of Mineral and Pop Unknown, Imbroco is a quartet that digs deep into shoegazer pop. The songs are extremely gentle, lapping on the listener's shore with a hushed ebb and flow. Occasionally, as during the final moments of "You're My Lionkiller," a stronger wave crashes down on the mind's sand castles...but softer tides soon return to smooth out the scars. It's during these rougher moments that I find the band most appealing. The entire album is immaculate in its production and execution. The harsher sections make Imbroco stand out from the crowd — which, although it may be somewhat antithetical to the shoegazer style, makes for more engaging listening."

 "Imbroco's member list sounds like the who-is-who of the Midwest scene. Scott, Gabe, Matt and Rory decided to get together and rock this world. It reminds me on a poppier version of the Texas legend Mineral. But the best description still is the one I got from Deep Elm...from indie rock to shoegazer pop to manic bursts of guitar distortion and feedback... Check it out cause it rocks."
Silent Stagnation


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