The Initiative – CD Launch (2014)

Ah, modern day miracles. Thanks to DVDs we can now experience the next best thing to being there. And in this instance that refers to the Initiative’s CD launch party of their self-titled debut disc, which was held Saturday September 21, 2013 at the Estonian House in West Brunswick, Victoria, Australia.

Because I’ve heard The Initiative prior to watching the DVD, I admit I already had pre-conceived notions, and am thrilled to report my expectations have been met. The band is just as colorful and charismatic on stage as they are on record. Excitement and a relentless sense of zeal pervades the atmosphere as the gender-mixed Initiative entertains the audience with a balanced achievement of styles.

Assembled of robust melodies, enthused choruses, and catchy bridges galore, “Every Little Thing” draws cues from the likes of Buddy Holly, the early Beatles, and the Smithereens, resulting in the type of tune, that in a fair universe, would shoot straight to the top of the charts. Dripping wet with naked emotions, the enthralling “Survive” projects an ambience smacking of Noir, while the sleek and spunky “Gives Me Everything” dispenses girl group and Motown influences by the bushel.

Fans of country music will further find much to smile about here, and for a funking good time there’s the groovacious grind of “Gettin’ It Together.” Fond memories of Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne collaborations arrive on the big, bright, and bubbly “Then The Light Came On,” and the grandly gorgeous “Like You Do” gushes with heavenly gospel harmonies.

Rare is the band that pulls off playing the genre-bending game, but these ladies and gentlemen are so proficient and talented that they tackle the job with confidence and ease. It’s easy to see how much fun they’re having as well. Capped with exceptional songwriting, crammed with dapper hooks and burly arrangements, a radio-informed vibe marks the spot, making the material accessible and comfortable.

A fine companion to the band’s album, CD Launch subsequently confirms the Initiative are a band to be seriously reckoned with. If you’re willing to take a joy ride, and I encourage you to do so, through the pleasures of power pop, soul, funk, country, rock, jazz, and heart-expanding balladry, brought to you by an ensemble brimming with energy and insight, CD Launch is the place to go!

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.