The kind folks over at Work It Media have been lovely enough to send me over an advanced release of the upcoming Love Inks LP 'E.S.P', due May 2nd on Hell Yes! As previously blogged about, Love Inks are a three piece based in Austin, with Sherry LeBlanc handling vocals and the other instrumentation consisting of a really simple formula of a few guitars and a drum machine, with a Moog making an occasional appearance; although this is inevitably a slightly limiting approach, the trio have still managed to put together a 10 track release that rarely grates.
Although the use of the drum machine helps to really firmly emphasise the trio's minimalist approach, you can't help but feel that the odd acoustic snare and kick would be far more effective than the soulless, repetitive thumps and clicks of the programmed equivalents; they do add a certain poppy sheen to the more uptempo, floating jauntiness of 'Wave Goodbye' and 'Black Eye', but render some of the album's more poignant moments a little flat.
Love Inks are at their best when their minimalism is used in a slightly less groove reliant format, when jaunty uptempo beats are exchanged for a more wistful, War Paint-esque navel gazing approach; 'Can't Be Wrong' is probably my favourite track, with a bass line that develops more than any of the others and reverby guitar flourishes. LeBlanc's woeful refrain of 'You can't be wrong... you can't be wrong' through a chorus underlaid with repetitive, muted percussion and simplistic strumming is perhaps the album's most evocative point. 'Skeleton Key' is similarly successful, with droning synth punctuating LeBlanc's wails. 'Down and Out' and 'Too Wild' are also highlights, striking the right balance between wispy, echoing vocals and solid, mechanical drum sounds.
Love Inks - Wave Goodbye