At the recent Finish Ticket concert I went to , I had the chance to listen to up and comers IRONTOM, and obtained their demo to listen to and enjoy. It is clear that this work is a demo, but at the same time, it is an immensely enjoyable one. This is the sort of work that will likely be heard only by a few dedicated fans or people at music labels or other music professionals like deejays, but even so, like the most obscure albums , this is an album clearly designed to be listened by someone and it is enjoyable to listen to and manages to convey a sense of originality and promise. An album like this is all about potential, both in terms of the ability to interpret songs written by others as well as in originality, and this song has plenty of humor and originality that makes it a fun work. With that said, let us look at the album from a track-by-track perspective:
Prior To/What Will Happen To All The Indie Stars: After a short and rousing instrumental introduction with hints of electronica comes a humorously titled opening song that asks a question few people ponder, and makes the listener wonder if the band considers themselves indie stars. Nevertheless, the fact that the opening song reflects on the difficulties musicians have in being heard is a striking case of self-awareness that is remarkable, all set to a gothic rock music track that is quite passionate.
The Minista: Another melodic rock track, this intriguingly titled track has a somewhat repetitive chorus and has an odd narrative story. This is well-done album filler and if its lyrics are a bit undeveloped the music is enjoyable to listen to and the song is moderately catchy.
In The Day And The Dark: This song has a lovely melody and shows the band exercising their chops in a dark but beautiful melody that has a bit of repetition in its lyrics but is definitely a rousing number. This is the sort of number that one could easily see getting radio play as a dark gothic rock track, especially because of its hook and its general catchiness. This song is yet more evidence of the band’s ability to write poppy songs.
Goin Slow: This ironically titled song reflects on the enjoyment of the radio to get the singer going slow, ironic because the song itself is pretty slow. The lyrics are pretty quirky and again reflect a certain strong self-awareness that sees the band responding to the existing state of music as a whole even as they seek to creatively find their own unique niche as musicians.
Nitro: This song has the music of something that would appear on a spaghetti western, with passionately sung lyrics about someone who is seeking to better understand someone else and who appears to be struggling with communication. As is often the case, the lyrics appear to be full of irony and frustration in dealing with interpersonal problems.
Mind My Halo: With its hard-driving beat and instrumentation, this song sounds like a long lost track by Led Zeppelin, which is not a bad target to aim for in the least. Although it is not entirely believable given the casual profanity of the band’s body of work that the singer was once a really nice guy, the song is sufficiently driving to be an enjoyable album track one could easily imagine the band re-recording or performing live for some time to come.
Nobody’s Child: A pretty melancholy song, this number represents a feeling of abandonment and loss that pervades many of the songs on this album. It is a touching song, and certainly one that tugs on the heartstrings, something that ought to please listeners with its emotional range.
Feel Good Inc.: A cover of a well-known song by Gorillaz, this is certainly a creative interpretation that takes the rock/hip-hop hybrid and turns it into a melodic rock track as if it were done by the Killers or Vampire Weekend. The result is certainly creative and striking, and enjoyable to listen to, evidence that the band can put a distinctive touch on a cover track.
Your Mother: This song has a somewhat repetitive chorus, but it has a hilarious concept and excellent music with a keyboard track that contains an epic diss to a partner with whom the singer is having problems with, saying that he sees what he sees in her–namely that she is just like her mother. Ouch; that’s a stinging comment that is likely to linger for a while.
Boy Born: The last song on this compilation is a meditative and somewhat sad track reflecting upon the narrator’s birth and the course of his life, with a driving minor key music track that brings out the singer’s insecurities about the course of life so far, something that many listeners would likely be able to relate to a lot.
This is a demo compilation that delivers the goods. It features tracks that show the band’s command of different genres, shows originality, shows some mastery of basic pop hooks, and contains a few tracks that will likely make it to a debut album in re-recordings or be live staples on the level of, say, Semisonic’s “Wishing Well.” For a compilation of demo tracks from a band with brash confidence and great promise, this album delivers the goods, and one can only hope for bigger and better things from Irontom in the future.
 See, for example: