Ink Reagent Specs

Although previous press on this Baltimore outfit has likened them to the wiry first-generation post-punk of Public Image Limited or the Fall, Ink could be procedurally aligned just as not so neatly beside the likes of Tortoise and Fugazi — they share a penchant for fader-riding experimentation enabled by long-term ties to a given studio. And with its name proudly emblazoned larger than both those of the band members and song titles on the album's cover, guitar player Craig Bowen's ACR Audio serves as this band's respective soma or inner ear. Confidently spacious and playful without losing each song's foreboding core, the group's second full-length is proudly unconcerned with keeping up with their contemporary Joneses, exuding the feel of finely honed isolation. While blowing the listener away is definitely not part of the game plan here, Reagent Specs is nevertheless a great find that succeeds at seemingly coming out of nowhere. (Monitor)