True story, or true to my knowledge: An old friend of mine had spent the majority of his young adult years in the military, posted abroad in that era when the United States wasn’t at war with like eight countries at once. He was bored a lot, and so tended to get into local drug cultures wherever he was. By the time I met him, there was very little in this world that he hadn’t tried; or, more accurately, probably more that he was actively avoiding for the rest of his life than he hadn’t tried previously, if that makes sense, and his brain was somewhat addled. Think of a literal man-child — he had the body and intelligence of an adult, but the personality of a wound-up adolescent. Kind of amazing.
Anyway, the one thing that my friend avoided more than any other was red wine. Why? I’ll never understand the hows and whys, but his attested reason was that he’d spent the better part of an extended stop in Spain taking a lifetime’s worth of acid and drinking Spanish reds, and though he also vowed to never do acid again, he’d found that even the crappy pink box wine that sometimes showed up at parties was enough to give him acid flashbacks. And just specifically red wine! He had no trouble with white, fruit wines, stuff like that. Just red.
What does this have to do with IVOLVE? Absolutely nothing, save for the fact that I heard “Wannabe” here and got back a feeling that I used to get — and love — in an earlier era of idol coverage, and enjoyed it, and decided to write about feeling flashbacks and was reminded of my friend. This is why you shouldn’t let people like me have websites!
Now, unlike that last song of IVOLVE’s that I was very pleased with, this one, paradoxically, is off of their latest single, just a couple of months late in delivery.
And, frankly, it’s probably the best song they’ve done, in several ways. Because I was young and full of young person’s dumbass ideas of things at the time, I didn’t appreciate the post-grunge rock bands that started to show up by the second half of the 90s, because they were lame and weak. Yes, the one-hit wonders, but also the Goo Goo Dolls and whatnot, all of whom, retrospectively, I did enjoy and just had too much idiotic pride to admit it (what I can’t forgive them for is ushering in the butt rock era that was to follow).
The sound that came to the fore in that era was very like what we have here, save the idol stuff: Those jamming kind of rhythm parts, the noodling licks on lead guitar, the uplifting singalong hooks in the chorus. I’m betting right now that you could take “Wannabe” here, pay Kennedy to add it to an episode of 120 Minutes and walk off having made a passable month-long hit. All it’s missing is some unnecessary crunchiness or, like, a harmonica solo or something.
Really good work, IVOLVE!