Sound: They say you shouldn't judge books by their covers. That said, a lot can be garnered from this album's title. Driven by percussive, slapped and tapped basslines, melodic guitar leads and even more melodic vocal hooks, "The Pride" is by and large what it says on the tin; a proud album made by a gifted band genuinely grateful to still have the chance to put an album out. For the most part, "The Pride" proves that any pride they do have is far from misplaced.
In terms of songs, there's a lot to be proud about on this album. "Pantheon" and "Guardian" are instant InMe classics, the former driven by pseudo funk basslines and intricate guitar melodies whilst both are concise rock songs that can mix it with the best. "Escape To Mysteriopa" comes from the leftfield to take InMe's sound somewhere new. Likewise, "Moonlit Seabed" which sees InMe stray into Biffy Clyro's melodic rock territory for a couple of verses before diving into technical metal inspired pulsating rhythms and dancing synths before coming full circle. "Beautiful Sky Gardens", whilst a little schizophrenic, possesses Dave McPherson's finest chorus of his career to date and "Legacy" is a fitting yet tumultuous climax to an album that is all about epic soundscapes.
Not everything here has worked out as the band would have liked. "Silver Womb" doesn't know whether it's trying to be a hooky technical number from "White Butterfly" or more concise cousin to previous album "Herald Moth"'s technical meanderings and as such, it doesn't fit on "The Pride" either. "A Great Man" too, despite an excellent final minute or so, is rather overshadowed by some obtuse transitions and by "Reverie Shores" which does the same thing much better two tracks earlier. // 7
Lyrics: Vocally though is where this album takes off into the stratosphere and is what, if anything, is likely to reattract attention to this band. Dave McPherson's vocal lines are second to none and barring "A Great Man", every single song has at least one vocal moment that sends chills down your spine whilst simultaneously causing your jaw to hit the floor. For a guitar wielding frontman, he has no right to be able to be as dynamic in both range and tone as he is on this album and as he screams "I won't betray my muse" on "Guardian" or finds the extra octave in "Escape To Mysteriopa"'s final chorus, it's hard not to be deeply impressed.
Lyrically too, this album is a cut above. "Pride" is again a theme, and whilst McPherson's efforts will infuriate those who like their lyrics bleeding raw, McPherson's phrases here genuinely stand alone as exceptional poetry dealing with honour and devotion to your art and those you love. Eloquent enough to avoid being labelled as cheesy yet honest enough to avoid pretention, Dave McPherson's lyrics and his delivery thereof is what takes "The Pride" to a who new melodic level. // 10
Overall Impression: By and large then, "The Pride" has some serious merit: commendable songwriting, solid instrumentation and a vocal performance that far outstrips any other in the British rock scene in terms of sheer range and power. Although it's possible that no one will give many f--ks about this album or this band anymore, that doesn't mean you shouldn't. The industry has its trends and it's fads. Indeed, this band had its time as a part of that. But "The Pride" exists as proof that it's worth bucking them from time to time. You could do worse... Download: "Pantheon", "Guardian", "Beautiful Sky Gardens", "Reverie Shores". // 8