Based out of the Calgary, Canada area, In/Vertigo is a four piece hard rock outfit poised to release a four song EP this fall entitled Sex, Love, and Chaos. Based on the initial single “Bad Enemy”, it is apparent that In/Vertigo are set to build on the impressive reputation they’ve already crafted touring with notable international acts like Pop Evil and Diamond Head, among others, with a brief collection designed to stun listeners and bulldoze them with the band’s high octane rock power. It’s a single and EP release that’s likely, as well, to unshackle them from touring strictly across Canada thanks to the exposure they’ll receive from audiences and the music press alike. “Bad Enemy” is an excellent, potent introduction to this band’s power and they’ll undoubtedly continue to improve and refine their attack for years to come.

“Bad Enemy” kicks off with a brief instrumental rave up before settling into a tight, nearly claustrophobic riff. The rhythm section of bassist Duncan McCartney and drummer Keaton Byfield supply “Bad Enemy” with a hard hitting undertow and the arrangement is constructed in such a way it highlights their contributions. Lead singer Reed Alton summons up a classic hard rock bray infused with bluesy power, but he excels in areas not usually associated with the genre – his understated phrasing makes the vocal and lyrical content all the more powerful.

There’s a real swagger here thanks to the aforementioned rhythm section work, but guitarist Shaddy Elsaghir brings a surfeit of swagger as well and will impress many with his ability to effortlessly transition from one passage to the next while still laying some quick flashes of lead guitar prowess into the mix. When he erupts with a solo in the track’s second half, it brings every bit of the passion you’d expect while still maintaining a coherence and sense of inevitability too many of Elsaghir’s peers jettison in favor of empty histrionics.

The lyrics offer individual twists on familiar formulas. The songwriting boasts its own turns of phrase without ever removing itself too far from a listener’s comfort zone and the construction of the tune, in particular, highlights this aspect of the band’s presentation. The alternating arrangement during the verses, the band backing off and allowing Alton a chance to dominate listeners’ attention, brings the words into sharp relief and they never suffer for the focus.

The band has made a steady climb. From their formation and initial gigs, they cut a limited run self-titled demo with producer Ronnie S. Champagne (Alice in Chains, Social Distortion, among others) and sold every copy. From there, they’ve continued refining their live act and are taking the next logical step by releasing a short, to the point EP release consolidating on the momentum they’ve built so far. In/Vertigo will reach far beyond their Canadian borders with this song and, as an early taste of what we can expect from Sex, Love, and Chaos, it promises that In/Vertigo will make a big impact that only builds from here.


Sebastian Cole