Surprisingly it’s been three years since Exit Ten’s excellent debut album Remember The Day was released. It’s been a firm favourite of mine which has seen the song “Fine Night” topping my Last.FM overall top tracks chart over other much longer established artists. It’s fair to say then that I’m a big fan of the band and have been awaiting the release of follow up Give Me Infinity with baited breath. Any artist’s second record has a lot to live up to and this one in my eyes has an absolute stormer to beat.
I am exceptionally happy to report that it does not disappoint. While overall not as heavy as the debut, it has some great rhythm throughout and doesn’t lose any of the impact. In fact the band have clearly matured since the first release and it’s resulted in a definite sense of refinement in the songs. For example, there’s a little string accompaniment in a couple of songs which don’t sound like contrived gimmick additions but really do add something tangible to the songs. The excellent “Suggest A Path” is a prime example of this.
I must admit it’s taken me a couple of listens to get past the automatic impulse to compare Give Me Infinity to its predecessor and it’s when you begin to see it as its own entity that you begin to appreciate the subtleties in the song construction and instrumentation. Foremost instrument though is singer Ryan Redman’s voice. It’s absolutely superb throughout with a great range and at times a real emotional impact that push already strong songs into a new frontier.
Lyrically the album has a lot of the usual rock & metal themes of the love and hate in relationships, but instead of being 11 songs about broken lives and angry lashing out about it, much of the songs are built around strength, appreciation, love and reconciliation. As far as I can tell there’s no swearing on the album either which is quite refreshing when compared to recent f-bomb filled albums such as Limp Bizkit’s Gold Cobra. I don’t know how personal the writing is but it comes across as such and results in a great blend of beauty and power.
If I have to level a complaint at it though there are some odd intro and outro bits stuck on some songs. 6th track “Drama” has an outro that’s got nothing to with the rest of the song and does eventually lead into the start of the 7th, but I think it would’ve worked a lot better without that. It’s the first time I’ve heard Exit Ten do this sort of thing and I don’t particularly like it.
Regardless though Give Me Infinity has some excellent songs throughout. I particularly like midway track “How Will We Tire”, powerful penultimate track “Mountain” and album closer “Lion”. I’ve had “Curtain Call” and the aforementioned “Suggest A Path” spinning around my head for days now and all it does is make me want to listen to the album again instead of try and shake them.
I’m loving this record. I confess it didn’t hook me instantly, but as I said earlier I believe that was due to comparing it the Remember The Day. Give it a few spins and I’m sure you’ll agree. I reckon if it takes another three years for a third album I won’t mind at all as there’s plenty here for me to enjoy and appreciate for years to come. You never know, some of these tracks might just make it into the Last.FM chart too.
With Give Me Infinity Exit Ten are building up steam and deserve to break into the big time and public conscience. If this doesn’t get them more recognition and considerably more fans then there’s an injustice in this world. But I’ll be happy, ‘cos I’ve got this to listen to.