As a moody teenager I would often sequester myself in my bedroom, turn out the lights and wallow in my own self-inflicted alienation, with only the likes of The Smiths or Joy Division for company. Luckily soon after I was out of shorts, Acid House came along and swept me away on a tide of drug-induced positivity and frankly astonishing music. But the important thing is that today, as I relax on a Sunday afternoon, flipping through the Habitat catalogue, I can chuck on a Smiths album, and still appreciate Johnny Marr‘s perfect guitar or Morrissey‘s razor-sharp lyrics. Something that I doubt will be said in ten, fifteen years to come about the likes of Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach or indeed InMe.
To be fair, maybe I’m missing out on InMe‘s hidden qualities, but once the nu-metal-by-numbers wall of guitars has kicked in, and the singer opens his mouth, the high pitched whine that emanates is one that is only truly audible to dogs and adolescent males. Maybe he’s got some serious issues that he is dealing with in a cathartic and primal way, but to these tired ears it just sounds like someone complaining that their mother’s told them to tidy their bedroom up. This isn’t rage, it’s petulance.
The problem I have most with this music, is that like nearly all nu-metal that’s been inflicted upon me, it just sounds so over-produced and shiny. It’s flawless in its execution, and there lies the problem. The music may rage and splutter, but all emotion bounces off its hard, reflective surface. It’s all but impossible to take it seriously when in my mind all it conjures up is images of glossy promo videos filled with pouting teen models trying to look awkward. It’s really nothing more than a full fat version of Busted.
But then on a second listen, a fear grips me – what if I’m not supposed to “get it”? What if, in my mid-to-late twenties, with mortgages and income tax giving me real reasons to be depressed, the fact that this music irritates me is less to do with my innate good sense of taste and style than the fact that it’s supposed to? Am I already obsolete in the eyes of next generation and the team of highly skilled marketeers who can hit their target demographic with the precision of a laser guided smart bomb?
I bring the album into work and play it to my young understrap, giving him a break for his usual chores of tea-making and general skivvying, and sure enough the result is positive. The pupils dilate, he gets over-excited, and it takes several hits of a large stick to prise the CD from his sweaty little paws. It is, he declares, one of the best things he’s heard in ages, if not ever. And once again I’m left feeling very old and pointless.
So there you have it – InMe, Overgrown Eden. I absolutely loathe it, and the band probably couldn’t be happier.