itso – “Keep On. No Fear”

“Keep On. No Fear” confirms itso as one of the most enticing projects in the current rock scene with a track that takes everything that they have done thus far and pushes it even further.  It is the forward-thinking expansive arrangements combined with the itso’s intricate web of vocal harmonies that defines the essence of this track. Simply put, they have never sounded this daring and great. The way the song transitions and balances between the quieter jangling parts and the louder chugging sections, along with the usual vocal excellence, is a dynamic delight for the ears. The song unfolds fully in this fantastic rock eulogy. The music building up to a grand shimmering apex, in a way that only itso can pull off almost effortlessly.

Scobie Ryder (Ex-Hellfire Club frontman and Gold Awarded Songwriter/Producer) and Martin Hanisch (a top German session Guitarist/Writer Producer) form this cyber duo, based separately in Japan and Germany.

The two work as a studio based recording and production team under the Smoke & Mirrors banner. Since their formation in 2019, itso have been met with heaps of praise from both music critics and many of the people who discovered and listened to their music releases.

On this track, the duo move away from the straight and soaring, hook-filled anthems into a twisting and winding arrangement which ebbs and flows with sonic ambience and aura, before exploding into a richly flavored drive.

The more you listen to “Keep On. No Fear” the more surprisingly likable it becomes. The track sweeps across the speakers with Scobie Ryder singing as nuanced and emotionally as ever, and Martin Hanisch’s patented guitar melodies echoing behind him.

If anybody else was singing on this track, it wouldn’t have half the impact.  As great as the song is, (and I believe it is one of duo’s strongest ever), it is Scobie Ryder that drives it home with his thoughtful and epic delivery. His voice is as smarmily supple as ever, as he unfolds the themes of commitment, loyalty and love.

It’s no understatement to say that itso should be one of the hottest properties in the rock scene rock right now. It’s taken Scobie Ryder and Martin Hanisch just 3 years to get to this position. All they need is to be discovered.

The duo’s catalogue is a shining series of works, which are outstanding, both in musicianship and quality of songwriting. “Keep On. No Fear” is probably the most open and emotional song in their collection, and one that you can genuinely sit back and lose yourself in as it washes over you.

An aural delight, Ryder’s smooth and caressing vocals work majestically with the guitars, whilst the rest of the instruments combine sublimely. Indeed, if there’s a theme, it’s of restraint and subtlety although the track offers some hefty sonic blasts along the way.

If you are a fan of the duo, “Keep On. No Fear” is likely to be an essential piece to add to your playlist. If you are new to itso, this is a fantastic introduction to some of their previous work.


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