You ever hear a band that you know has “it,” but isn’t quite there yet for one reason or another? Knoxville-based badasses Inward of Eden fit that bill entirely, thanks to excellent work on the strings and vocals that will remind you of The Offspring and even better- a tougher, less pop-infused Hoobastank. Simply put, IOE’s Mind Control EP is a cool collection of tracks, even if it lacks one with mega-hit potential.
It’s not for a lack of effort on frontman Dusty Owen’s part. The dude can sing. From “Slow Burn” to perhaps the best song on the EP, “Ghost of Amalie,” Owen exhibits an ability to be a stellar presence on stage and in the studio. However, the tracks, for all they do musically, don’t have the same infectious nature lyrically. None have that hook that grabs you and forces you to listen again.
Again, however, on every track on the EP, lead guitarist Dustin Lambin, bassist Donnie Hall and rhythm guitarist Chris Gaumond fill out the sound in a way that allows IOE to hold their own with any band on strings. Featuring a rich and deep sound, every track on the EP feels defined by their guitar intros, solos and backing bass grooves.
At the same time, drummer Shawn Siler sets the tone throughout the EP. The drum work here is just as multifaceted as the string work and is like the cherry on top of a hard-rocking Sundae. Make no mistake, with these pieces in place, IOE just needs a song or two with some charisma. After that, there’s no telling where they can go. As it stands now, however, they don’t have that one special track on this EP.
In the end, Inward of Eden’s biggest strengths is their booming guitar work and sultry vocals. However, without a killer lyrical hook, many of their songs are laden with lost potential. Regardless, they’re a band worth keeping an eye on for the simple fact that with so much cream, it’s only a matter of time until they rise to the top.