Moody and dark with a clarion voice.⌗
I discovered the Ink Bats in that typical Oakland scene where you discover the opening acts are better than the head liners.
When they opened for Modern English back in May, they had sound problems. This allowed them to really impress me. For a better part of their set, Josie Dot sang without the assistance of a microphone. Even then, her clear wail penetrated the wall of sound put out by the driving guitar and crawling bass lines.
Dave Tibbs brings all of his bass-y goodness from his other band - Dead Souls, who is another story-worthy project devoted to Joy Division. Boy, does it show. The bass is omnipresent - moving the songs along like the sinister stompings of marching boots. Coupled with Puhlovski’s metronome timing and perfectly placed fills, the Ink Bats have a driving engine that compels you to dance, even if you are a perpetual shoe-gazer like me.
The Ink Bats bring that rare combination of genuine talent and unfettered musical honesty. Fruit Structure walks into Bauhaus territory where guitar, vocals crawl up a stair case to some dark dormitory window. That’s when Josie flings open that window and belts out beauty like some crazed witch.
My only real complaint with the Ink Bats is their lack of presence. They are so good that I demand more. I want more music, more shows and a few good music videos that don’t sound like they were recorded on an iphone from the pit of a dive bar. To expedite that end, I will just have to go to every show they play. Even, if I have to buy tickets to more Modern English shows.