As much as people who grew up during the '90s might not want to admit it, that decade's artists are essentially classic rock to the generations of bands and listeners who followed. One of INHEAVEN's biggest influences is Smashing Pumpkins, who easily spanned gossamer ballads and thundering rock during their heyday. The South London band has nearly as much range on its self-titled debut album as INHEAVEN mix and match grunge, shoegaze, and Brit-pop influences, though they sound most convincing on more melodic songs like "Drift"'s dream pop and the pretty power ballad "Do You Dream." They're at their most intriguing when they reach beyond the '90s to reveal a surprising -- and surprisingly effective -- fondness for older sounds. There's a little bit of '70s glam rock to the brassy opener "Baby's Alright"; the charged riffs on "Stupid Things" feel equally indebted to Bruce Springsteen and the Jesus and Mary Chain; and "Vultures" borrows as much from Black Sabbath as it does Billy Corgan and company. While former singles such as the U2 and Killers-indebted "Bitter Town" and fuzz-laden anthem "Regeneration" remain highlights -- and underscore INHEAVEN's social consciousness -- new cuts like "Real Love" and "Velvet" add depth to the album, and suggest there's more to the band than skillful pastiche.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares