Near Death Experience: Conquer (2020) – Single Review

Near Death Experience is a fresh indie-rock group coming out of London. Their newest single, “Conquer,” is the first track I’ve heard from them, but the three-minute song does more than enough to show how unique and promising their sound is; reminding me of some of my favorite modern rock groups.

The track starts off strong, jumping out of the gate with a fast-paced, driving guitar melody that will be stuck in your head after one listen. Quickly joining this, are both the echo-filled vocals of their lead singer, and a multitude of other guitar layers. These basic elements make up most of the song, but bring enough complexity and energy to never go stale. For example, while the lead guitar melody appears to be very folk-and-blues-inspired; much brighter, pop-guitars join in. Soon after, come a few trippy, psychedelic riffs that meld together into a more Black Sabbath sound. The collective aesthetics of the track bring back a variety of different 60’s and 70’s influences.

Pushing through the solid rock instrumental are the just-as-dynamic vocals from frontman, Ian Whiteling. Whiteling’s voice seems to change as much, if not more, than the music backing him, which is far from a bad thing. Each rendition of his performance reminds me of a different, modern, rock project; all of which I love. The beginning parts are reminiscent of the Australian indie-rock quartet, Tropical Fuck Storm, but as the progression gets heavier, and the lyrics, a bit darker, it begins to sound more like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. To add another Australian to the mix, I even get Kirin J Callinan vibes.

As a whole, “Conquer” is a solid indie-rock track that uses old, simple pieces to construct something much more complex. While the different components are nothing too experimental, the production, layering, and multiple transitions allow it to become something more unique. By the end of the song, you’ve experienced two decades of rock, but with a more relevant twist.

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