ELECTRO-HUMAN MULTI-EFFECTS PROCESSOR (self-released)
Last decade, it was ska. Now it's pop punk that's invading radio shows, music stores and mags with happy cheeseball rock. But to the rescue are bands like Innaway—this quintet stresses gloomy and mysterious that recalls the best of Radiohead, Pink Floyd and even Led Zeppelin. There's the dreamy "Crawlin'," a sort of meditation on loss that's beautifully presented with vocalist Jim Schwartz's tenor and a compelling rhythmic solemnity. But then it turns into something entirely different when the solemnity is swallowed whole by deep-sea droning and slaps of dissonant sound that lift the tune into a mysterious ecstasy. Then there's "Tiny Brains," an acoustic number that sounds like classic and bombastic psychedelic music calmed-down, weirded-out and rerecorded in lo-fi. And for the Zepp riff, Innaway perks up Jimmy Page's gentle folk sound with Indian-influenced percussion in the song "Snakecharmer." Yes, it sort of seems like Innaway cleaves too closely to their inspirations, but Schwartz told me they're making a conscious effort to get some space between the band and their record collections. And after all, this baby band only started making music in late 2001. If their demo sounds this good, who knows what fantastic and very novel music Innaway may create in the future? Chances are it's not going to be conventionally happy—or cheeseball.
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Innaway performs with Arraya at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0600. Sat., 9 p.m. $5. 21+.