I know I repeat myself on these pages, but let me do it again. In recent years, I have found myself gravitating towards catchy rock sung by strong women. That was highlighted by the album "Road To Nowhere" by Shiverburn, which came within a whisker of winning Album Of The Year. Since then, and since their disappearance, I have been very happy to see the long string of bands playing the same style of music. It is encouraging from a social aspect, but it has also been pleasing because many of them have been very good, and have released some records I have greatly enjoyed. Today, we get another contender throwing their hat into the ring, in the form of Reason Define, a group of ladies who are more than ready to rock us.
They ease us into that, however. After setting the stage with an intro, "Waves" is a tense song that uses timely swells of the band to play with dynamics. It isn't the hard and fast punch to the face a lot of bands will use to kick off an album, but that's fitting, since Reason Define is a more nuanced band than one who simply play loud and heavy. That's something I greatly appreciate.
But make no mistake, they can definitely rock. "Innocent" kicks off with a deep, heavy riff that sets the stage for a song featuring a gang chorus that is the band at their most aggressive. The song stands out because it isn't surrounded by similar tracks, where they would all blend together and we would get numb to the energy. That is why pacing a record is so important, and it pays off here.
With their commitment to being a rather heavy rock band, and Paolina Massaro's anti-waif vocals, they remind me strongly of A Light Divided, who put out a fantastic record last year. Like them, Reason Define is able to combine guitars that are heavier than you might be expecting for the genre, along with melodic vocals that are catchy without being a pop band. "Reaper" could be reworked to be a great pop song, but with those thrashing guitars, it is anything but as it currently exists. And I love it for that.
Track after track, the band shows their consistency. There aren't highs and lows, just a level of quality you can depend on. Throw a dart at the track listing, and you're going to land on a good song. Whether it's an aggressive track like "The Hunter (The Hunted)", or the piano ballad "Mirrors", the band never falters. Their songwriting is not a brief flash of inspiration. They've put in the work to know what they're doing all the time.
In the end, if you're a fan of these kinds of bands, there's no reason not to check out Reason Define. They show, throughout this album, they're very good at what they do. And if you sometimes think women don't rock enough, give this group a chance, because they might change your mind. Well done, Reason Define. "In Memory" is a very enjoyable record, and hopefully the sign of even better things to come.