Genre: experimental, slowcore
Ambient, droney, sometimes noisy ambient rock from
a group I had previously relegated to slowcore. Zelienople have
sure shifted their focus around since their past two releases, and
their balls and daring are put to good use on Ink. They still
have vocals in places, and some measure of actual "pop" songwriting,
but the lengthy ambient drone and noise diversions take up a
considerable portion of the disc's running time. Yet as a fan of
outsider music, I'm by no means complaining - if anything, I find this
work to be deeper and more moving than Zelienople's past
The atmospheric drone material on Ink tends
to be centred around two distinct formats. "Ink" and reverb-laden "Seroquel"
are very abstract, with any real semblance of melody being marginal at
best. Meanwhile, "The Nod Squad" and "Pace Car" feature lovely,
vaguely melodic guitar playing atop ambient soundscapery. The more
"song" oriented music on Ink is found in the form of three of
eight songs. These still stretch the boundaries of typical "pop" music
(to say the least), but shades of Low can be heard in a track
like "Boxes On Shores," whereas dark "It's Still Hard To Steal Cars"
broods on in its eerily uplifting manner.
To put a cap on it, Ink is a record that
projects melody and "traditional" song form onto some surprisingly
abstract sound experimentation. Noisier and more bizarre than one
might expect, Zelienople's record is worthwhile for those
willing to keep an open mind. In the end,
Ink forces the listener to find a strange sense of uplift amidst a
dark and haunting veil of hopelessness. When given time to unfold, the
record conveys this with breathtaking ease.
Fun Fact: Zelienople
is a borough in Pennslyvania:
[Vitals: 8 tracks,
released March 14, 2006]