Following their recent profile boost, thanks to the success of re-released single 'Don't Stop,' Innerpartysystem release this six-track EP 'Heart of Fire.'
Title track 'Heart of Fire' lays a veneer of glitches and light-electro synths over dark, reverberating riffs, before launching into a thumping, drum-heavy chorus and hook-packed pop vocals. However, 'Heart of Fire' straddles Innerpartysystem's two chosen genres a little too neatly. It has guitars, and it has synths, but neither in any daring amount. The result is light eletro with the occasional crunchy riff that won't satisfy either the rock crowd, or fans of dance music. You suspect Innerpartysystem are trying to keep both their fanbases happy, and in doing so actually meet the needs of neither.
The cheesy-dance stomp of 'The Way We Move' is a vast improvement, as Innerpartysystem fully embrace the two halves of their sound. Flat, buzzy guitar lines and pounding electro beats are combined with souped-up, trancey vocals that occasionally stray into likeably naff, robot-vocal territory.
'The Way We Move' briefly gets even more exciting, as it breaks off for a pre-chorus bout of thumping, build-up dance beats and urgent vocals. It seems to be taking the listener towards a full-on dance-fest but, when the music kicks back in, it turns out to be more of the same.
'The Way We Move' is a piece of catchy, accessible trance that, frustratingly, never quite reaches the peak it seems to be building towards.
'Night Is Alive' is the only song that could give 'Don't Stop' a run for its money, with its adrenaline-junkie chorus and verses that knock along at a fair old pace.
'Night Is Alive' only makes one major mistake, and that's with a toe-curling semi-spoken, semi-rapped bridge section. Apart from that, this is a thoroughly enjoyable, electro-rock jaunt.
The relationship-centric lyrics of quasi-ballad 'Heart That Heals' strike the perfect balance between angst and hopefulness. This is one 'moving on' song that won't have you cringing in embarrassment.
Innerpartysystem alternate between low-key verses of flatly buzzing riffs and twinkling synths, and choruses of synth-heavy distortion and dramatically arcing vocals. It's a poppy ode to starting again, with just enough highpoints to stop it passing by in a blur.
Innerpartysystem continue to tread water with 'Lover's Dancing.' The highlight is briskly-flowing vocals that inject the chorus with a shot of energy. Close behind it in terms of addictiveness, is a bridge section of echoey, choir-like vocal harmonies layered over cheesy Euro-pop synths. It's an interesting and dramatic combination. But sadly, it's business as usual for the rest of this song.
'Lover's Dancing' gets a remix for this EP's sixth and final track. The remix process involves stripping this song down to a framework of harsh, crackly-edged synths, and the introduction of a snappier, hand-clapping beat that gives it an industrial-electro tilt.
By it's very nature, 'Lover's Dancing (Remix)' is mind-numbingly repetitive, which wouldn't be a problem if its handful of beats weren't completely devoid of hooks. Stick to the original version.
Innerpartysystem's 'Heart of Fire' EP is sorely lacking a 'Don't Stop' piece of pounding, electro-rock genius. The six tracks feel more like a collection of treading-water album fillers. It'll keep existing fans sated until their next full length, but it's unlikely to win them any new ones.