Love Inks: Exi (Republic Of Music, 2014)

September 27, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Love Inks: Exi

Love Inks: Exi

Love Inks are an Austin trio who make minimal electronic indie-pop music similar to bands like Young Marble Giants. The songs generally consist of nothing more than a softly thumping drum machine, a bass guitar line, softly strummed electric guitar (or sometimes very soft organ tones) and ethereal, double-tracked vocals. It’s the type of music where every sound and every lyric counts. Deceptively simple, but it works, and the songs stick with you on repeated listens. Sometimes all it takes is just a phrase like “I don’t hear that” repeated in a nice melody with some pleasing tones (as on “Don’t Hear That”) to do it for you. It almost sounds like they’re suggesting more, but you really can’t imagine them adding more to their sound without making it sound overdone. It doesn’t sound like unfinished demos, it sounds complete. A few songs (“New West”, “Regular Lovers”) have crucial touches of sensuality, and “Sky Machine” has some cool shimmering tremolo guitar effects. “Text Message” is the lone instrumental track here, with abrasive guitar up against a high-pitched sinewave wall, and beats nervously shuddering in the corner. “Spirit Communication” ends the album with a slow jam, with the beats more spaced out and lots of echo on the snare drum, which doesn’t seem to appear on the rest of the album, and is emphasized here to make an impact.

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