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14.10.11

I Divide - 'Whats Worth More?' (self released) 4/5

I Divide are from Exeter in the UK and apart from that I know very little about them. But I do know one thing since this album dropped through my inbox the other day, they have found in me an another admirer.

What's Worth More? is a great little album, there are seven songs on offer, plus a short intro and a short interlude at half time, and all six cuts are pretty good slices of contemporary commercial hard rock that seam to be batting from the same wicket as the likes of Kids In Glass Houses, Lost Prophets, Tiger Please, Funeral For A Friend etc, and as I have over the past few years developed a bit of liking for all the aforementioned acts I am finding myself beginning to get into this one.

This album is tight and well played, its as commercial as hell, but nowhere does it sound generic. Vocalist Tom Kavanagh has raw sounding, but far from unpleasing voice and a highly energetic delivery, the rest of the band also seam to be very competent musicians as well. There are lots of dynamics on show here, lots of light and shade, which shows that I Divide have learned the most important lesson in music, that the spaces between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves.  There is nothing to find fault with in the song writing either, all the tracks have some intelligently put together lyrics and some nice structuring. The album closer Whats Worth More? is especially worthy of praise with its thoughtful acoustic guitar and piano breakdown in the middle and slow but relentless build up to a glorious anti-climactic conclusion.

Other highlights include This Ship's Going Down, with it's big riffs and powerful tempo changes, Burning Out with its guitar motif that sounds a little like a classic Mike Oldfield moment and Deja Vu with its massive hooky chorus and mob chorus backing vocals.

OK I do have one small issue here. I'm not a fan of the over all guitar sound. Don't get me wrong, its well played, but on the whole the guitars are just one huge wall of fuzz that makes it hard to really pick out the often killer riffs and at times swamp the rest of the band. But this is not the fault of I Divide as such. I have the same issue with the production on a lot of todays more commercial bands. Ho hum, its a style that seams to go down well with the youth though; I suppose its only a minor gripe and one I can live with.

Over all I Divide have got a good thing going on here and I'm sure that given a few breaks they could well develop into major players on the UK rock scene. Well worth checking out.

For fans of... You and Me At Six, Kids In Glass Houses, Tiger Please, Funeral For A Friend

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