Rock music is a broad topic, with many subgenres and fusions tread by countless musicians. It is a flexible collaboration that saw a great deal of maturity in the late ’90s into the 2000s where it skyrocketed in popularity and experimentation. Fast-forward to today with Round 2, the latest release by Itch. This musical blend of various genres fused with the hard alt-rock sounds on these tracks is as defining for Itch as they are a delight to listen to.
Round 2 comes after a five-year hiatus of the band. After some new faces in the line-up, Itch delivers an inspired tracklist filled with dynamic fusions. The groove of the bass is a strong presence throughout the album, as illustrated from the very beginning in the track Prison Disco. Even after losing the bluesy to kick up the pace about halfway through, the dynamic grooves of the bass even support a stellar solo while still dancing with the drums the entire track. Tree Men is another stand out track that pushes the genre-defiant sound of Itch to the forefront. The band has an ability to channel other genres of music into their tracks and wrap them together nicely with a hard rock bow. The track starts with almost an adult/contemporary rock vibe before diving into the signature hard rock sound. At about the 2-minute mark, the track breaks into a brief ’70s style funk stint which feels like a nice surprise.
Sun Will Rise is a unique track on this album. It wastes no time mixing genres or delivering a subversive intro and embraces the alt-rock aesthetic. It also puts the power of the vocalist front-and-center. The chorus shows off her vocal chops when she hits those long notes and holds them effortlessly. The track also serves as a great way to keep the pace of the album and nails down the musical identity of the band. ReRe is a fun track with a bassline that creeps through the song until each chorus smashes you back into Itch’s world. The track is a rollercoaster ride on top of contemplative lyrics that end as different as begins. It deserves a listen to understand why Itch tells you to “let your mind be free, embrace insanity.”
Round 2 is a vision realized. With a long hiatus between this release and the last, along with a slightly different line-up, the work the band has put into polishing this album all over each track. Round 2 is a rollercoaster ride filled with wonderful musical twists and turns through the rockin’ madhouse that is the tracklist. Nothing is wasted here and each track is inspired which makes it a treat for any fan of rock.