INBORN - The Headtrance Session

Inborn - The Headtrance Session

10 songs
63:10 minutes
***** ****


I have to admit that two years ago, I didn't feel too overwhelmed with Inborn's shows at the Emergenza festival, even if they won it. Unlike other bands who rushed to release albums, Inborn took much time for their debut album The Headtrance Session, which has become a totally weird concept album about Jewish Kabbalah and other topics you probably can only understand if you do a lot of psychotropic drugs.

And while I don't feel like getting into their lyrics, I can just as well concentrate on the music alone, and considering that these guys are not yet 20 years old, it is nearly illegally mature. Already the sepia cover artwork sets your mood into William Burrough's Naked Lunch (or David Kronenberg's adaptation of the movie), and the opener Spirals (La Arquitectura Del Cielo) is a ten minutes epic track testing people's attention spans from the very beginning. The track starts with a druggy interpretation of that really famous part of the Carmina Burana, and then delves into trippy hardrock sounds not unlike what Tool did in the Nineties, although Inborn never make the mistake of sounding like a clone, but rather add a deeper psychedelic meaning to the music, by having for instance one member who's only playing didgeridoo, and also by inviting tons of guest musicians adding violins, organs, acoustic guitars and all kinds of other noises.

So what does Inborn eventually sound like? By dedicating the album to three Jimmy's (Page, Morrison and Hendrix), they show a certain affinity to the Seventies, even if their music owes more to the Nineties, especially the post-grunge time with bands like the aforementioned Tool, Smashing Pumpkins and to a certain degree the more experimental brit pop sounds. As if the whole of the later Nineties had been distilled into a powerful concentrate called Inborn.

Apart from The Desert, no song is shorter than five minutes, and it's especially the really long songs like the opener or the instrumental two-part a) Noid b) When Insects Cry that overwhelm you with an onslaught of ideas that only very repeated listening will teach your brain how to cope with it. Maybe that's why I didn't feel too warm for Inborn initially, because this afternoon I have been listening time and time again to The Headtrance Session, and I still discover new elements.

And while this amazing debut album pushes Inborn to the very top of the local music scene, I can't finish this review by adding a few points of criticism. Although the production is very good, it is at times not able to compete with the ambitions of the music, and makes you wish these guys win the Piccobello lottery on of these days to send the album to be remastered by Rick Rubin for instance. I also don't understand how they can be influenced by straight edge hardcore and thank all the ganja growers in the world, on the same album? Straight edge is in my opinion not really a musical style, but rather a lifestyle.

Apart from these two tiny remarks, The Headtrance Session is as good an album as you can get this year in Luxembourg, and provided they don't split up like most bands their age to continue their studies, Inborn have the talent and vision to become also a big name outside of Luxembourg. Not since the Mars Volta has any band combined rock'n'roll and psychedelism in such a dynamic way.

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