LOVE INKS is a minimalist pop group making music that harkens back to early 80s UK (Marine Girls, Young Marble Giants) and David Lynch's Roadhouse. The group's sleek, needle-precise sound comes distinctly from Austin, Texas.
It is a combination of guitar, played quietly but as if from a 12-foot deep well, and bass, creating both tension and melodic release when necessary, in conjunction with an electronic drum machine. The triangle is only completed by Sherry LeBlanc's voice, which leads the listener through every song -- whether it be mellow or dark. These three elements together make up LOVE INKS. Their use of silence and their approach to instrumentation, while sometimes coming across as confrontational, makes their music direct and sincere.
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It's all well and good spouting the words Young Marble Giants everywhere but can any form of modern music live up to the minimalist, skeletal Welsh band that pretty much single-handedly invented what would become slow-core, minimilist pop or whever you want to call it?
This lot from Texas pretty much arm themselves with the Young Marble Giants blueprint. Simple drum machine? Check. Softly twanged electric guitar? Check. Winsome and soft female vocals? Check. Opener 'Shoot 100 Panes of Glass' is pretty decent stab at creating a 'Colossal Youth' bonus track. It seems to go on for an awful long time though. The band are obiously also into their twee-pop type of thing and 'Dawn/Poem' sounds a little like Tracey Thorn's Marine Girls. Its all very sweet and gentle and will appeal to the type of listener that finds Beach House a little too "busy". There is really nothing happening at all but listening to it is a very pleasant experience. My issues with the record are simply that its a very studied re-work of Young Marble Giants and Love Inks don't bring that much new to the table. When they do stumble on a catchy tune such as the title track with its insidiously catchy chorus, or the yearning 'Way Out' you start to forget about the fact that the band don't have that much in their locker other than a well worn copy of 'Colossal Youth'.
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