In/Vertigo is going to make serious waves on the hard rock thanks to their muscular combination of lung busting vocals, crunching guitar riffs, and a fleet footed yet emphatic rhythm section attack. The first single from their impending debut EP release Sex, Love, and Chaos, “Bad Enemy”, is released with an accompanying music video that underlines how the band is working within an established tradition, but yet owns it with a distinctive voice. The ferocious guitar assault courtesy of Shaddy Elsaghir works in tandem with the rhythm section to make for hard-hitting opening, but the riffing soon following the introduction is even more memorable. Elsaghir exhibits a real talent for crafting and playing condensed biting guitar riffs while still managing to incorporate vivid lead fills along the way. He has a varied style and, unlike many contemporaries and peers, never shows the desire to attempt taking the song over. Instead, even during his lights out guitar solo, Elsaghir is serving the song throughout and quite well.
Vocalist Reed Alton will, undoubtedly, turn more than a few heads thanks to his all-in approach to the lead singing duties and he throws himself into the song with wide-eyed, full throated passion. It’s the sort of go for broke singing, with the pipes to back it up, that draws hard rock fans in and if we had an entire generation of Reed Altons fronting modern acts, there would never be any conversation about pop country, hip hop, and EDM displacing hard rock as the foremost form of popular music. The lyrics don’t aim at remaking the wheel, but In/Vertigo proves they are quite skilled at pouring old wine into new bottles and Alton’s passion elevates them to a cry from the heart. There’s a lot of blues, naturally, informing his singing, but it’s an influence that never announces itself, but is nevertheless very present.
Shaddy Elsaghir keeps things hopping, as mentioned, but the pinnacle of his performance unquestionably comes with his powerful guitar solo near the song’s end. His determination to play to the song’s strengths, rather than consuming as much of the spotlight as possible, brings another level of musicality to “Bad Enemy” that elevates far above a mere hard rock guitar workout. He pairs up very nicely with drummer Keaton Byfield and bass player Duncan McCartney –the unified elements of the band’s performance are impossible to ignore and they will win over many listeners with a single airing.
In/Vertigo are working in a vein that’s been thoroughly explored over the last four plus decades, but they come off as a band with something to say that’s all their own and merely uses a popular musical “language” to connect with their audience. There’s enough ferocity and drive during this song to assume In/Vertigo is likely a powerful live act as well, a fact further cemented by the growing concert demand for the band’s talents and plum supporting slots with acts like English metal legends Diamond Head, among others. “Bad Enemy” is a single that packs a mighty wallop.