Friday, September 17, 2010

And I'm Off Into the Night

Months have passed since I delivered to you all a group a little outside our blast radius here in the States. Though I have brought you a few groups from Canada, and they totally rocked, to keep things interesting and fresh, I decided to take a journey to another hemisphere this week to give you all a taste of a band that is slightly out of reach for us here in the U.S.
Enter Into the Night, a melodic/alternative-rock sextet from Melbourne, Australia who are taking the island nation by storm. With their new eponymous debut album in hand, Into the Night are pumping the coastlines and Outback similarly full of a rock that drips in alternative sense and hardens over with just the right amount of grit. The neo-hardcore arrangements that fill Into the Night's debut effort range in influence from post-grunge and hard-rock to hardcore-punk and metal. Like Homebrewe and Diamond Eye, my other NRN43 Australian vets from a while ago, Into the Night are themselves full of talent and hunger, and are aiming for the moon with their big-beat tracks and stick-in-your-head riffs.
Composed of members Patrick Broughton (lead vocals), Ben Graham (lead and rhythm guitar), Warren Pedlar (lead and rhythm guitar), Andy Vancuylenburg (keyboards), Lee Sinclair (bass), and Jules Bruce (drums), ITN's sound is just the right mix of hard-rock simplicity and metal intricacy to keep me guessing at every turn.
The first song on ITN's playlist is immediately the best way for me to start familiarizing myself with these guys. I can only describe this intro as purely epic. Building on itself again and again like Metallica's "Enter Sandman," "You Won't Know," starts by feeding me an AC/DC-inspired riff while the rhythm section builds higher and higher behind it. As Graham begins with his guitar in a riff-driven, "Highway to Hell" fashion, Pedlar pick-slides in with screaming notes that flash portraits of Van Halen and Megadeth in my mind. And as Pedlar begins, I can hear Bruce's high-hats start, then fade out as he quickly moves to the toms and snare, with Sinclair following suit on his bass. Then Broughton begins, and his vocals are rough and oh so satisfying. The one thing I was dreading was to hear the misstep of marrying this beautiful hardcore track to high falsetto vocals. But Into the Night aren't tempted, and as Broughton's snarls menacingly into the mic, Vancuylenburg takes everything higher with his keys set nicely and secretively behind the wall of guitars. As the chorus approaches and takes off, Broughton's vocals get higher in range, but always stay in perfect synch with the hard-rock platform below him. Bruce's fills and rolls are Maiden-esque in nature, and Sinclair's bass is a powerful force to be reckoned with. A track that tops out at 6:04, "You Won't Know" is a melodic-hardcore trip, but one thing this track boasts that others can't is a bridge that shows not only gritty angst, but mature musicianship. As the bridge approaches, Graham and Pedlar scale back on their guitars, and the rhythm team of Bruce and Sinclair becomes almost transparent, save for a simple cymbal beat by Bruce. What lifts this track even high, though, is Vancuylenburg's resonating keystrokes on his piano, bringing to a hardcore track a sense of symphonic grace that it's all the better for. As Bruce's drums pick up and Graham and Pedlar join in on a shining solo, the track crescendos into a mass of grit and grace. Most certainly the must-hear track on the album, "You Won't Know" is everything right about hard-rock and metal.
If "You Won't Know" was symphonic and graceful, "Journey Into Doubt" promises to be a masterpiece of clashing guitars and driving rhythms. From second one, Pedlar and Graham impress me with an intricately-laid guitar wall. Then Bruce counts in, and Sinclair's bass is something to be treasured on this one, as it plays front and center, strong yet nimble, and bombastic in the best ways. Broughton's vocals are coarse and serrated, leaning towards a Three Days Grace influence, but soften just a little for the verses. Graham's and Pedlar's chords and notes provide the best reason to lock your door and air-guitar to this song all day. With a driving rhythm that is pushed further only by anthemic vocals and lyrics, "Journey Into Doubt" is a heavy, hardcore excuse to put your devilhorns up in the air and bang your head like there's no tomorrow. And yet, like "You Won't Know," "Journey Into Doubt" shows a softer, more introspective side, as the guitars take a mini break, and Vancuylenberg's key notes shoot this one full of emotion and epic adventure. That, my friends, is the best way I can describe it. And then as Sinclair's bass starts to move faster, the guitars and drums pick up again, and Broughton brings this one to a raging finish. If ever there was a song begging for a live performance, this one is it.
"Such Is Life" begins in a different way that its two predecessors. Vancuylenburg is the maestro on this one, and starts it off with a piano progression that is beautiful and curious at the same time. Some of you may think that the piano isn't very hard-rock, but let me tell you, when it's married to a pounding bass-line, it gets pretty hardcore pretty fast. Sincalir's notes compliment Vancuylenburg's keystrokes in the best way, and this track only builds from there. Broughton's vocals are a little softer here, and the guitars are more reserved, hovering just over simple drumbeat by Bruce. Sometimes, though, simplicity is the key, and as the guitars enter, this one is, in all senses of the word, big.
Yet Into the Night continue to impress me with their versatility as "Coming Down" is the polar opposite of "Such Is Life." A fast, guitar-driven track with an intro riff that will blow the speakers right out of your car and beg for the windows to be rolled down, "Coming Down" is from the start the song to listen to when you're on the way to the show. With the same initiative and drive as any AC/DC or Van Halen song, "Coming Down" is a simple, hard-rock, guitar-heavy track that just proves that the age-old formula of hard guitars, heavy bass and drums, and soaring vocals, with maybe some epic keys on top, is still the way to go. Into the Night find for themselves an instant success with "Coming Down." It's everything I fell in love with in the first place when I first heard Cream and Black Sabbath. Heavy and hard-hitting, it's definitely one of the five-star tracks on this album.
Proving to be a group with a intricate and versatile sound, Into the Night will soon be on their way, if they're not already. Like AC/DC, JET, and The Vines have proved before, Australia is one of the world's Mecca's for hard-rock and garage-metal, and groups like Into the Night are taking full advantage of that. Armed with a sound that works in the best of ways, and a drive that will take them far, Into the Night are here, and nothing it seems, Topside or Downunder, is gonna stop them.

Sounds Like: Three Days Grace, Sponge, Foo Fighters, 10 Years

Key Tracks from Into the Night: "You Won't Know," "Coming Down," "Journey Into Doubt," "Such Is Life"

Check out Into the Night more at:, and

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