They did the LA thing for a while, but rock quartet the Inkblots have come to their senses and back to Santa Ana to play a chain of Orange County shows celebrating their second release, a five-song EP titled The Record Player. Samuel Munoz (vocals, guitar), brothers Jesus (guitar) and Irving Nunez (drums), and Bernardo Rodriguez Jr. (bass) play together with a solidity that surpasses the band's lifespan of less than three years. Munoz exhibits a distinct tone in his velvety drone, not unlike Paul Banks of Interpol, adding a layer of warmth to Inkblots' music. Their easy and cool feel is a level usually reserved for groups of a more mature caliber.
"A Case for Sanity" leads off the disc with a thumping, catchy melody backing a polite, almost submerged use of profanity. "Smiling" showcases Inkblots' tightness, inducing listener anxiety by invoking a feeling of high alarm and distress before ripping into a quiet three seconds in which the only sound is the wailing line, "No one will love you more." Almost a nod to pre-war blues, "Tell Me" modernizes the classic down-and-out sound by breaking into a faster, cymbal-laced rhythm and whipping out the distortion pedal. The Record Player's last track ("And So Jesus Came . . .") starts out as a dreamy lullaby leaning heavily on rhythm guitar before Inkblots slowly build layers until the lullaby is no longer recognizable and a full-blown rock song has blossomed in its place.
Inkblots play Sol Art Café, 511 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana. Sat., 8 p.m. $5. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/inkblotsmusic.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and a decent high-resolution photo (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly,1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.