Yeah, so I’ll admit: even I’m a little confused about my choice to go with some drum and bass for this week’s Retrospective. But the fact of the matter is, every so often this thing will pop up on shuffle and I just can’t help but go back and listen through the whole thing, track by track. Released in May of 2010, Immersion was the third studio album by Perth, Australia’s Pendulum. Sure, it’s predominantly drum and bass, with only the occasional flourish of industrial rock, but regardless of how you want to categorize this album, it’s simply a fun, energizing listen from start to finish.
To reemphasize: if you need some kind of pick me up for, say…a run, a workout, or just to get shit done, there are few other albums I can recommend that feel more like a straight shot of caffeine into your blood stream. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself sluggish at work, then thrown this on and just started flying through shit. It’s a fun listen—over an hour long and interesting all throughout. We see guest spots from everyone from The Prodigy’s Liam Howlett on “Immunize,” to Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson on “The Fountain,” to even In Flames on “Self vs. Self.” There’s a lot of variation here, and it really keeps you locked in.
Most of you will have heard “The Island – Pt. 1,” arguably the biggest single from Immersion. The track was all over the radio when it was released, and the band even did a video for the song based on the 2005 movie The Island. (Yes, the Michael Bay dreck.) What’s more, though—and I’m sure some others will be aware of this as well—“The Island – Pt. 1” served as the structural inspiration for Devin Townsend’s song, “Save Our Now,” off of 2012’s Epicloud. In fact, here’s a really cool mash-up of the two. So really good stuff all around.
Beyond that, there are a number of crazy-catchy, well-structured songs on Immersion; I think of the likes of “Crush,” “Watercolor,” “Witchcraft,” and my personal favorite, “Self vs. Self.” I’m sure me listing the latter as a highlight is a surprise to exactly zero of you, what with the appearance of In Flames, but regardless, you cannot tell me the song’s not an absolutely earworm. The chorus is just as catchy and upbeat as the rest of the album, but the song as a whole has just a bit more aggression than the rest of the album, which simply tells me In Flames did their jobs. Really, the last four tracks might be the strongest on the album. The closing sequence of “The Fountain” and then the entrancing “Encoder” is just brilliant; the latter was one of the first tracks to really pull me into this album originally.
Sure, Immersion is pushing its fifth birthday, but it really hasn’t lost a step with me. It’s a burst of energy start to finish and it really makes you feel like you are floating in an infinite body of water. Just a really, really cool personality accompanying this album. It’s an experience of a listen, even for someone that doesn’t break out much drum and bass in his life. Come to think of it, this might be the only album from that genre that I have in my library…go figure. Anyway, give it a listen for yourself and let me know what you think. It’ll be a good time either way.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”