In November 2012, a little band from Phoenix released a record to little fanfare, titled Run Wild. IAMWE was noticed by somebody (a band? a promoter? a booking agent?) obviously because they were announced as the opener for the debut tour in support of Anberlin’s new record Vital. Their live show displays a sound far bigger than their reputation at present, and if there’s any justice 2013 ought to be a big year for them. The record is just as huge sounding as one would expect if they caught them live first. This isn’t always the case, but fortunately it is here.
Let me offer a disclaimer – iTunes shows a different track order than the bandcamp – this review reflects the former. “Follow Me (Jungle)” is the first of 8 tracks that carries an ambience slightly reminiscent of Future of Forestry. The vocals even sound kind of like Eric Owyoung’s, but they blend in with the music rather than carry the track entirely. Muse-inspired piano compositions carry the tune much more so than the vocals, actually. Jungle is actually quite an accurate word to describe what’s going on in the opening song – there’s a lot going on, but all the elements complement each other in a beautiful way. “Galaxy” is appropriately spacey with a strong bass line distinguishing the song from the others in just the first few seconds. “Run Wild” is more minimalistic than one would expect, delivering 4 minutes of a single, driving melody amidst an unchanging tempo. “Italy” brings us back to the huge sound, complete with the effect of lots of drums (I don’t know exactly how many they recorded with). A huge “Whoooaaaa” bridge leads into a chill-inducing climax culminating with an almost eerie vocal echo before abruptly ending.
“Help Me See” continues the sometimes-eerie-sometimes-peaceful vibe with a two minute interlude. “Child” is enjoyable in the sense that first few tracks were, but is probably the least memorable of the the bunch thus far. “Sons and Daughters” recovers the feel of the album rather quickly with probably the most memorable hook on the project. Finally, “So They Say” ends things with the most unique sounding drum set-up thus far, with a haunting chime-like riff carrying us into the chorus which sounds like it could be a reprise of the earlier “Italy.” All in all, this is a satisfying debut for a very promising band. Obviously, more ought to pay attention to the talent in Phoenix, AZ.