Illbreak is a band that most people have never heard of, but that, my friends,
is about to change. This alternative rock band from Atlanta has been taken under
the wing of Todd Harrell, the bassist for powerhouse band 3 Doors Down. Harrell
and his wife Jennifer run Mississippi-based Imprint Records, and The Flood is
the label’s second release. But now that the particulars are out of the way,
it’s on to the music. Illbreak’s sound is borne of the unique vocals of Gareth
Asher, who most closely resembles a cross between Brian Vander Ark of the Verve
Pipe and Ed Kowalczyk of Live, with the kind of guitar-driven, emotive sound
that put Incubus, Fuel and Tool on the map.
The opening track, “Wake,” is indicative of things to come on The Flood, and is
a smartly constructed song with a huge payoff of a chorus. The first single,
“How It Feels,” as well as “Flesh and Bone,” are nicely produced tracks that
showcase the slick riffs of guitarist Josh Huff. “The Mermaid Song” and
“Underneath the Shadows” are also strong, but the band really shows its
versatility on the syncopated yet soaring “Conscience.” “Safe” is the perfect
anthem of a closing track, the kind that fans will be waving their lighters to
as this band becomes as big as they should become.
Predicting anything in the music business is like trying to throw a Nerf ball
more than five feet, but Illbreak has come up with a collection of songs that
are as can’t-miss as anything the alternative market has put out in quite some
time. Having the support of the Harrells doesn’t hurt, but with Illbreak the
songs and the musicianship speak loudly enough to carry them to a nice career.