Love Inks – E.S.P.

Love Inks – E.S.P.
Hell Yes Records: 2011

Perhaps it’s a bit too easy to fall in love with Love Inks.  The  Texas trio serve up minimalistic, precious pop, relying on the paper-thin vocals of Shery LeBlanc,  her husband on bass, a guitar and a drum machine.  They spin fey songs that come in less than two or three minutes and recorded their self-financed EP on reel-to-reel tape recorder.  It works at first, but unfortunately there is not enough to latch on to beneath the sweet, slippery pop veneer.

Single “Blackeye” consists solely of the lyrics: “You’ve got black eye on your eye/ Tell me was it from a fight, baby?/ Did it happen last night?” It’s supposed to be cool, but it comes off cloying, like a nagging girlfriend. You are more than happy to tell the story if you’d just give me a second.

The trio is at their best when they take their time, expanding musical ideas in their longer numbers.  “Skeleton Key” carries a bit more weight, featuring assuring synths and a strutting backbeat.  The fork-tongued, almost dangerous sound of “Leather Glove” unfolds like a love story gone awry.

Ultimately though, the preening post-ironic cover of David Essex’s “Rock On” encapsulates their off-putting, too-cool-for-school vibe. They walk too close to Warpaint without the edge or expanse; The xx without the vibe.  The bright spots are juuust bright enough to keep tabs on the buzzing band, but I’d wait til they get in the studio with a proper producer and  – what the hell – maybe even a drummer.

★★☆☆☆
2 out of 5

3 thoughts on “Love Inks – E.S.P.

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  1. why is this “supposed to be cool” or “cloying” or “fey”? seems like good solid pop music to me. i don’t think there’s any attempt to be more than it is – simple, catchy pop music.

  2. I enjoyed the music, even if it is totally like a bunch of other stuff out there. Something about it resonated, though maybe I just wanted to latch on to one of the endless carefree/pseudo-sweet/hyper-cool projects.

  3. I love this cover. Too bad the music didn’t quite match it!

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