Invertebrates by WickerMan is an energetic and confident emo rap EP with elements of electronic synth-pop and trap music that elevate it beyond its genre roots.
The first track Give It All I’ve Got is a bold and confident introduction to the EP, showcasing experimental instrumental techniques and a powerful vocal performance that gives the track an inspiring energy. Opening with operatic chanting and heavy drums, the song’s enigmatic and bold instrumental choice helps it build tension and set up the stakes for the song's narrative. The use of waves of electric guitar on top of this, further emphasises the energy while also helping to establish a melody. What sells this track, however, is the vocals. Exploring the narrative of a persistent grind towards fame, understanding the speaker can summit this mountain in life and dedicate themselves to doing so. More than the lyrics themselves, it’s the conviction of his delivery that gets the track's message across. You can tell that his belief in his own goals is so strong and that energy can inspire others to also follow their dreams in the same way.
This is What it Feels Like, has a very different energy, with more of a synth-pop vibe and a different vocalist, this track feels like a calm breath after the chaos and excitement of Give It All I’ve Got. The two vocalists work together brilliantly, establishing a beautiful chemistry that builds this conflicted love ballad up through their connection. The synths are also gorgeous, with a rich and bouncy sound that has a great interplay with other instruments on the track, such as the guitar trills used throughout the mix.
Switching back again, Bad To The Bone has this seething and sinister synth and distorted vocal that work together to create a heavy and dark unrelenting rap track.
Switching back again, the next track, Memories, is a softer and more gentle synth-pop experience with these lovely high-register synth trills. Although the tone is melancholic with references to a relationship that went wrong, there is almost a solace in the love that remains in their memories.
Inside My Mind is an interesting track, combining the energy of the heavy rap tracks with the emotional weight and charisma of tracks like Memories. This track feels like the sonic bridge between the two halves of the EP and its successful execution makes me think those two aspects of Wickerman’s sound should be combined more often.
Overall, Invertebrates feels like an album of two halves. It balances the anger and energy with the emotional resonance brilliantly and with a glimmer at the end of those two worlds combined, I’m excited to see what WickerMan does next.