15 Jul 2024
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: The Hole in Your Head

08 Feb 2020 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Shannon Coulomb, Scott Nicolson and Ryan Culleton form the components of Imposter Syndrome. Coulomb chose the name as a kind of pact that nothing will get in the way of releasing music. Following last year's Notion, their second single, The Hole in Your Head, is a post punk flavoured exploration of the loss of faith in large institutions. It sounds like a good song for your jogging playlist if you like to do your morning run through space warps drenched in paranoid sweat.

I have a lot to say about the opening:
The fade out is a time-honoured cop-out ending to a song and so it's cool to see such an innovative use of fading. It seems like such an obvious idea after you hear it: Fade in.

What's interesting about this approach is that hitting it straight into these pieces would forfeit the opportunity for an intro build. Plenty of songs do come straight in to achieve that full frontal assault feeling and it's a legitimate technique, but the fade in lets The Hole in Your Head strikes a unique balance between having control over the opening dynamic and bringing in many elements right off the bat. Rather than the textbook approach of introducing a main beat or melody and adding elements every few bars you have a whole plate of aspects to interpret well into the first 30 seconds, but the volume swell makes it feel balanced and palatable.

I'm a big fan of hearing the kind of delay laden mind bending effect swirl on top of a propulsive beat that
The Hole in Your Head offers. Often artists will choose to make a compromise between either having a driving. rhythmic, immediate, heart pounding song or a wafty, lucid dream pool of shoegazing trip out. Combining both approaches as effectively as this lets the listener ride the wave of mind altering aural receptor trickery at the same time as their blood pressure and heart rate explodes. Really, it's a better feeling than either of those alone.

The comedown at the end of the song swims in echoes and afterthoughts. It's an outro that begs listening to right until it dies all the way down. The vocals hit me as if they might be what Big Black's Steve Albini would have sounded like had he honed his singing more. Also, the way that the vocals sit a little back in the mix and allow themselves to assimilate into the overall aftereffects of the music is a great choice. They still sit prominently enough as the vocals in a song but allow room to be part of the over-all impact like another instrument.

I'm a fan of the track, a big fan of the sound and I'll be keeping an eye out to see what comes out of this band next. As an offering to help ease Imposter Syndrome's sense of imposter syndrome I'd also like to say this: You tricked me guys, I think you sound legitimate.
Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Impostor Syndrome

Soundtracks to experiences. ~ "The band are thinkers, experimenters, and explorers. They bear the bloodline of their now nostalgic forefathers, without following their footprints into the world of tribute. They forge their own path." - muzic.net.nz

Impostor Syndrome is an experimental recording project, whose wide range of influences challenge the idea of what is commonly heard within the confines of New Zealand Progressive Rock. The band is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and blends alternative rock with film score and spoken word, described by muzic.net.nz as ‘Industrial meets Depeche Mode’. Becoming best of friends as seventeen year olds over a shared love of Alice in Chains, it took until 2019 before vocalist Ryan Culleton, drummer Scott Nicolson and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Coulomb were to create music together as a unit.

The 2020 pandemic gave the trio an opportunity to further their learning and experimenting of recording techniques, resulting in an album’s worth of music to be released in 2022. The pursuit of expression and boundless creativity, drawing from a wide range of influences, continues to be the central motivation for the band. They have also been converting a garage into their own recording facility that will no doubt keep the band busy for years to come.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Impostor Syndrome

Releases

Oriens
Year: 2022
Type: Album

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