From the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association – Where Every Story Has Three Sides
By Bruce Cochran
One of the best things about seeing live local music is getting the chance to catch a band as they search for their sound. You can be there in the beginning when the band is still fine tuning their subconscious–but still aren’t afraid to experiment. And just like tap beer, you won’t taste the full body until you hear them in person.
I recently had the chance to listen to the Minneapolis band InIrie. Prepping to release a full-length recording this spring, the band will play The Beat Coffeehouse, 1414 28th Street, on April 6, along with City of the Weak, Attention Whore, Give It Up, and Kick.
I usually give the music three turns over several days to make sure I’ve given it a chance and to make sure I’m in the right mood to appreciate it. It’s seldom that I come across something so horrid I don’t even want to give it away. I’d rather listen to the failed side of musical experiments than anything overly mastered for widest appeal. If you haven’t guessed it already, I’m a music snob. So the last thing I want to do is perpetuate anything I find artistically abhorrent. I’m one of those big-headed freaks that doesn’t get offended by anything, except painful music. I rant about it like I was saving the world from the next End-Permian Mass Extinction.
But, I’m also an active hypocrite. I listen to enough guilty pleasure music to make me the Carrie Bradshaw Fan Club president.
Anxious to give the CD a spin, I popped in InIrie’s 6-track disc and I was pleasantly surprised.
Big picture?… I think InIrie is right at that sweet spot where they aren’t over produced, and haven’t written music according to popular tastes, yet are still refining their sound for their own artistic satisfaction.
Jumping across tracks, you’ll immediately feel the lead vocals–most of the songs revolve around relationships and even the quality of the singer’s voice is a relentless reminder of that. At times it drags, probably because I think, the lyrics are still finding their voice.
Reading the liner notes–as I often have trouble making out the lyrics from songs, I came across a chilling verse on “Don’t Crash” that provides a window to more.
“Well, I think the ambulance is late cause we’ve lost color in our face, we never gave the chance to pray. So don’t kill me.”
If this band was just about the voice, they could be easily labeled and forgotten, but there’s more here that’s keeps nagging at me to listen again.
You see this band has no “horror vacui”–fear of empty space. Dueling energies between the lead vocals and grinding guitar provide for full spectrum sound. The band’s most interesting moments occur at the connections between song sections as you lead along melodic strings that bridge the gap between tempo, sound and style within the same song.
So bend your ear–either online or at the show and tell me I’m tone deaf, high, should keep my day job (this is my day job) or remotely correct. We welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce Cochran is Editor of the Wedge newspaper, lives in Uptown and the only time he’s ever been paid in association with playing music, it’s been a plea to stop.