Imagine Dragons, “I Need A Minute”
It seems each decade has a defining band or, at the very least, a small handful of them. But who defines the ’00s? With the decade nearly out, we have failed to find our Nirvana or U2 — a band that, regardless of technical merit, comes to embody an era. Maybe our cultural ambivalence is due to the sheer volume of music being produced and our unparalleled access to it via the internet. Regardless of the reason, there is a handful of bands that are certainly in contention, but haven’t quite unanimously staked their claim to the vacancy.
Even though they released their seminal work in 1997, Radiohead is undoubtedly the most accomplished and boundary-pushing group of the decade, but with relatively modest commercial success. Coldplay sells out arenas around the world and leaves millions wondering what cockamamie name Chris Martin will dream up for his next child, but let’s be honest: they haven’t played one original note and their entire career is built on producing mainstream photocopies of everything Radiohead already did eight billion times better on OK Computer. Yet while both those groups hail for the shores of jolly old England, Las Vegas glam-rockers the Killers are the decade’s dark horse. Openly loathed by some in the indie community because they so openly aspire to be the “Next Great American Rock Band,” their critical and commercial success has remained fairly consistent through three albums and a relentless touring schedule. They have put together all the pieces in a way few other bands have in the 2000s.
That being said, Imagine Dragons picked themselves a good role model. Also heralding from the neon-lit deserts of Nevada, the group formed as students in Provo in 2008. The interceding months have been a whirlwind of critical love for the band, ranging from a BYU Battle of the Bands victory to rave reviews for the band’s summer shows back home in Vegas. Featuring danceable beats and pulsing synths much like their hometown forerunners, Imagine Dragons make dance-pop for Killers fans that crave a little more punch and a lot less preening.
But make no mistake: Imagine Dragons is not some kind of Killers cover band. While the influence is certainly present, vocalist Dan Reynolds’ songs are more poppy and fun, while the group’s remaining members fill in with splendid backing vocals that Killers frontman Brandon Flowers would die for. Nowhere is this more apparent than on “I Need A Minute,” the opening track of their recently released, self-titled EP. Embedded below, the track features Reynolds infectiously begging for a minute to get his head straight, while his bandmates provide a perfectly complimentary shout-along chorus. The driving beat and hook-laden melody will burrow its way into your brain and stay there — and that’s a very, very good thing. Imagine Dragons may not be this decade’s iconic rock band, but the desert sky’s the limit for these Vegas natives. After all, the 2010s are just around the corner.
Come out and see Imagine Dragons live in Provo on Saturday, September 12th at “Rock The Block” at Seven Peaks Water Park. Also featuring the Vibrant Sound and Hello Helicopter.
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