By Way Pristine
'Inverted Converted' the new single from Genoa-based melodic rockers Way Pristine, makes a rookie error: it chooses the wrong song as its A-side.
It also dupes the listener by introducing this mis-chosen A-side as a completely different beast to the one it quickly becomes. During 'Inverted Converted''s the opening minute, frontman Paul Blake holds his voice at a doomy rumble, while the rest of the band churn out strong, melodic rock with a whiff of alt-rock sleaze to it. 'Inverted Converted' broods and grumbles like a storm on the verge of breaking and, just when it seems an outpouring of nastiness is inevitable, the storm-clouds evaporate, Blake's voice lightens and the lyrics abandon meaning in favour of the convenient rhyme. What does "just inverted / then converted / when the clockwise / was inverted / I'm inverted" mean, exactly? I don't know, and chances are Way Pristine don't know either, but at least they manage to rhyme "inverted" with "inverted."
An introduction to catch your interest; 'Inverted Converted' then deteriorates into something inferior, right before your very eyes.
History seems about to repeat itself, with the sombre introduction of '13th' but, thankfully, this song sticks to its initial promise and delivers a track of swaggering, bass-drenched darkness, accompanied by Blake's deeper, throatier tones. It isn't all devilish good fun; listeners will have to suffer a bridge section of Blake's crooning, pop-star alter-ego, which feels strikingly out of place in the context of the song. Still, overlook this little faux pas and '13th' is a delightfully black-hearted stomp.
Rock-ballad 'Realise' is the perfect showcase for Blake's voice. While his smoother tones do have a pop slickness that doesn't sit terribly well with the alt-rock genre, there's no denying the man can hit some pretty big notes. 'Realise' all starts off a little too glimmery and smaltzy, with the threat of a Nickelback-esque ballad hanging thick in the air, but then Blake takes a deep breath and really lets rip, and his rich, melodic voice means 'Realise' gets away with it. Just. This is as earnest and 'nice' as Way Pristine should ever get.
B-side '13th' is the strongest song on this EP, playing out like a perfected version of 'Inverted Converted.' Maybe Way Pristine were pushing for accessibility by selecting 'Inverted Converted' as their A-side, but this song is more likely to bore the masses than win them over. Imagine the B-side is the A-side, and this is a promising single.