Interestingly, they feature a singer who sings. Although I’m quite happy with cookie monster vocals and the like, 45 minutes of shouting can sometimes get on your nerves so kudos to Ryan Redman, Exit Ten‘s front man.
After my first run through of half the album so far what I most like about Exit Ten is an acknowledgement that the song is the most important thing. I don’t care how good you are at your chosen instrument, if you can’t write a song then all you’re doing is showing off. The musicians of Exit Ten, all individually excellent, do precisely what each song requires and that’s not always the case with rock and metal bands.
Opening two tracks ‘Life’ and ‘Curtain Call’ start the album off strongly. The latter in particular has a mighty riff but then two thirds of the way through has a quiet passage that musically has a hint of Oceansize, which is the greatest compliment I can pay any band.
Track 3 ‘Suggest A Path’ has tasteful guitar and strings before everything crashes in but Ryan Redman bestrides it all, emoting his heart out. ‘Eyes Never Lie’ is another solid piece of rock with another hint of Oceansize. Nice.
Tracks 5 to 9 are like overs 20-40 of a one-day international. Little cricket reference for you. They are all solid pieces of work but are working up to some kind of climax. ‘The Cursed’ sounds like one of those alternative/indie rock bands and is quite hooky. Track 8 ‘Sunset’ is a bit Funeral For A Friend-ish. ‘Smoke’ has a restrained, pretty beginning. The guitars in this song, and indeed throughout the album, sound glorious when they are both restrained and full-on.
Then, we reach the tenth track. It is called ‘Mountain’.
Oh. My. God.
If you’re lucky a band makes a good album. Occasionally, a band makes a great album.
But only rarely does a band make one utterly fabulous track that stands out so much it makes you completely rethink how you feel about the album its on and actually hauls that album out of the good category and into the great category.
But Exit Ten has done it and ‘Mountain’ is the track.
It starts with a monstrous guitar sound and manages to maintain that monstrous greatness throughout its five and a half minutes. I won’t describe it in any more detail because if what I’ve already said hasn’t encouraged you to go seek it out then there is no hope for you. It is genuinely thrilling. Thrilling that Exit Ten came up with it and thrilling in the way Exit Ten has laid it down. It shows admirable, awe-inspiring ambition. And do you know what? The last track ‘Lion’ is almost as good.
Coming to the end of this review I have now listened to “Give Me Infinity” a whole bunch of times and I have come to the conclusion, unsurprising given some of the things I’ve written above, that this is an enormous, formidable, fantastic rock record and I am most assuredly Exit Ten‘s newest fan.
I hope fans of the first album come along because Exit Ten are going somewhere, of that I am absolutely convinced.
Buy this album. Go see them live. Do whatever you can to encourage Exit Ten. I know I will.