By Deaglan Howlett | Posted Sunday, December 10, 2017
I was first introduced to Indrive in September at a Mayflower Collective show at the Asbury Park Music Foundation. Indrive was added late to the bill when one of the bands had to drop, so I was unaware they were even playing until I got there. I remember walking in while they were playing and hearing them from the entrance of the Music Foundation, which was surprising since the venue is relatively soundproof. Once I got to the venue at the end of the hallway, I was blown away by the volume they were producing. They were loud and they were playing music unfamiliar to the typical Jersey Shore scene. I was hearing shoegaze in Asbury Park, and I was real excited.
Now, Indrive is not a straight-up shoegaze band. They are a punk band hailing from Freehold, a short drive from the burgeoning music scene of Asbury Park. The three-piece is made up of Aaron Brenner on guitar, Isaac Harasty on bass and Nick DeFabritus on drums and vocals. Indrive’s unique punk/shoegaze sound definitely helps the group standout amongst the sea of Asbury bands. While they have a very defined and original sound, there is a sense of 90’s nostalgia in this EP. When I first saw them play, they covered a song by the 90’s alternative outfit Hum, and I certainly hear a lot of Hum on this release.
While the record includes sounds ranging from 90’s bands Hum to Failure, there are also more modern day influences on Nice Dream. The opener “Fine” hit me like an early Basement song. The noisy “Kevin Shields” guitar riff lends a great background for the vocals on this track. DeFabritus’ voice sounds lazy, which is something I really enjoy about the band. His voice is consistent throughout the record and tucked in the back of the mixes with the guitars up real loud.
“Wait” is probably my favorite off the release. The guitars are real punchy during the verses while the chorus slows down into another My Bloody Valentine-esque guitar riff. The bass playing on this track is perfectly steady and Harasty even includes some gnarly bends to add to the heaviness of this song. This track is super dreamy, but if the dream was a nightmare. The vocals are doused in reverb and sound distant while the guitars and bass bend in and out of tune. This track really stood out to me and still does.
The EP ends with “Heavens”, the shortest track on the release. This song is all about the guitar. The layers of riffs and leads paired with delay and reverb make for a very complex sound. The vocals are minimal and the song ends with 20 seconds of feedback and drone. Short and loud, “Heavens” is the perfect closer for the monstrous EP.
I truly enjoyed Indrive’s first release, Nice Dream, and I look forward to watching the band grow. You can listen to Nice Dream here.