It doesn't suck. Once the collective sigh of relief dies down, we'll continue.
The new Iris single is hot. People have been salivating for this one for several years now. Rumors of disbandment, a new lineup, a new man in the producer's chair, all are pieces of the puzzle that is Awakening. And this single, perhaps the biggest puzzle piece of all, introduces to the world a very new band. If not for the voice, I would find it difficult to believe that these are the guys behind the ever-popular Annie, Would I Lie To You?. It's different, and at this point I'm a little unsure how people react. It's good, but different.
Unknown is a mini-epic, to put it rather bluntly. It twists and twirls through different styles, throwing in a hefty load of Violator-inspired electronic rock, with a dash of breakbeats and to-die-for atmospherics (thank The Alpha Conspiracy's Andrew Sega on that count). The most confusing part of the song is the fact that it rocks, yet there is not a guitar to be found. Somehow, the Texas boys have managed to steal the edge of rock music and pipe it through their synthesizers. But despite that shower of praise, it's not without its problems. The ride never fully delivers, leaving the listener without the final burst of energy this song needs to truly push it over the top. It gets close, but not quite.
But that's okay. Where the song falls short, the remixes deliver. Especially Matt Morris' Sub Rosa Mix, easily the best on the single. This is the definition of club stomper, folks. Rarely does a track deliver such raw energy to a dance floor, and I for one can't wait to shake my hypercritical ass to this mix. Maybe it's the mix of Andrew with both Reagan and Matt (the two original members of Iris) that pulls it off totally. Whatever it is, it's incredible and must be heard to be believed. Turn the volume up on this one.
The rest of the remixes are a smattering of styles. The oddly-titled Spatial Dub (which features a full vocal... can someone explain that one?) is a punchy, aggressive take on the song that will keep the harder crowd happy, while the Everlasting Love Mix is pure and simple ear candy. Vince Clarke would be proud. Well, as long as no samplers were used. Fellow Texan DATGUY contributes the last remix, a low key version of the song clearly aimed at the after 2 am crowd.
Overall, a decent work, though not the earthshattering experience some had hoped for. A b-side would've helped. But there's a lot of hype around the upcoming album, and living up to that sort of hype is a task that few could achieve. I think they've done an admirable job of it. It's a little different, but different is good. So check your preconceptions at the door and give it a spin.
Highlights: Unknown (Sub Rosa Mix)
Artist Link: http://www.irismusic.com