MUSIC: Review: Imagine Dragons, "Hell and Silence"

Written by Chase Larson on . Posted in Music

Provo-born band Imagine Dragons delivers an energetic dosage of electronic synth-pop that soars on its second EP, Hell and Silence.

Now hailing from Las Vegas, the group draws stylistically from its new location with catchy hooks and melodies, danceable grooves and showy anthems with mainstream appeal. On one of their tracks, lead singer Dan Reynolds repeats the title of the group’s latest venture — in a quasi-chanting fashion — singing “Hell and silence/I can fight it/I can fight it,” encapsulating the record’s positive, upbeat sound.

They definitely avoid silence.

It’s hard to pinpoint one genre Imagine Dragons comfortably fits into since they borrow from such an eclectic array of musical inspiration — moving from synthesizer-dominated tunes to driving beats to arena rock anthems. The band’s grandiose and sometimes quirky sound makes it seem like they mixed musical elements picked from groups like The Killers, Blue October and Good Charlotte.

Some highlights of Hell and Silence include “Selene,” a funky, playful number with a disco-infused beat, and “I Don’t Mind,” a more contemplative tune but one that will still get your toe tapping. Chock full of synthesizer licks, “Emma” is reminiscent of a 1980s new wave ballad with a seemingly misplaced guitar solo that sounds like it’s straight off an Eagles’ album, which oddly works.

“Hear Me,” easily the catchiest song on the EP, begins with a driving beat that builds as an infectious guitar riff paves the way for Reynolds’ growling verse. However, soon the song transitions into a glossy chorus that will stay in your head for hours, akin to something you’d expect from The Killers.

Although some will say Hell and Silence is somewhat inconsistent at times and lacks a true identity, many will enjoy the band’s diverse, eccentric nature. One thing is for sure — Imagine Dragons has talent, an infectious second record, and a promising future.

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