By now, we've long accepted that terms like "indie rock" and "indie pop" have nothing to do with record label status. They're like "punk" and "alternative": co-opted, deprecated, largely meaningless. But Imagine Dragons? Come on. Draw the "indie rock" line somewhere. J Mascis probably rolls in his grave every time someone refers to these Glee-covered, ad-funded, Interscope-signed, Alex Da Kid–produced clowns as "indie" anything. (Then he climbs out, wonders why he fell asleep in a grave, and rolls around on the lawn a little.)

Every scene, even fake indie, has to have its hangers-on and cashers-in, its various Bushes and Stone Temple Pilotses, but these guys are way past that. Twenty years ago, we'd be embarrassed even to call Imagine Dragons "alternative." "It's Time" is thinly disguised mainstream asshole rock, and the alterations required to turn it into a convincing Nickelback song are minimal: deeper voice, slight compression bump, and looser jeans.


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