The Inklings | Rhizomes (Sly Dog)

Almost any song on Rhizomes could be on the soundtrack of Empire Records. Though at first listen the songs seem somewhat simple, the lyrics are complex and sometimes difficult to understand or analyze. With a sound reminiscent of Dolores O’Riordan, Linnetz has a very smooth, slick voice when the music isn’t drowning it out, as the guitar seems to be a bit louder than it should be on the majority of the tracks.

The Inklings, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn indie-rock quartet, first formed in the winter of 2004 when singer-songwriter Dani Linnetz met up with guitarist Peter Imbres (from folk band Royal Nonesuch) and bassist Eli Schneider (also from Royal Nonesuch) to collaborate on Linnetz’s first full-band recording, Caller Seventeen. Linnetz soon after reconnected with drummer Mark Willey, who was then in a band called Lojazar. The band had a somewhat rocky start, as they were all working around Linnetz’s touring schedule and other side projects, but eventually it was decided that the group would take on a different sound than Linnetz’s previous projects. Thus, the Inklings were formed—a name taken from the shadowy creatures that live under Tokyo in Haruki Murakami’s book, Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World—which represents the new, decidedly darker sound Linnetz wanted to emulate.

Almost any song on Rhizomes could be on the soundtrack of Empire Records. Though at first listen the songs seem somewhat simple, the lyrics are complex and sometimes difficult to understand or analyze. With a sound reminiscent of Dolores O’Riordan, Linnetz has a very smooth, slick voice when the music isn’t drowning it out, as the guitar seems to be a bit louder than it should be on the majority of the tracks.

With songs such as “The Challenger,” “Burning Edge,” and “Break You,” there is a tinkling Moog Rogue keyboard that was repeatedly “fixed” with ProTools trickery. This is only one example of the intricacies of this album. “Break You,” perhaps the album’s most haunting track, is full of chilling vocals paired with screeching guitar feedback, with the opening line, “You will pay.”

The Inklings are definitely an amazing indie-rock band that sounds as if they could have been cultivated in the early ’90s. Their music has a haunting edge, but it keeps the listener captivated until the end of the album.


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