IT HUGS BACK – INSIDE YOUR GUITAR (4AD)

A few things that I don’t like: walking to school in the rain with a hole in my shoe, being asked if I am over 18 by a librarian, music that has no heart. The cure: listening to It Hugs Back. I remember thinking a few weeks back after listening to the American Analog Set or Low or Hayden or Idaho some magnificently crafted nineties slowcore band “they really don’t make it like they used to”. I say this as someone who discovered nineties indie rock in the middle of my high school career, circa 2001. Like the sheen that only comes from watching a movie on VHS, in my mind the nineties music is wrapped in a sense of aural warmness that I sense whenever I listen to Yo La Tengo, Codeine, American Analog Set, etc… It only took nine years for the slowcore revival to take place. I don’t know if I am making this so-called revival up, but if I am I am putting It Hugs Back along with Beach House as leaders in vanguard of warm guitars, restrained percussion, laid back bass lines, and mumbled, aw-shucks whispered vocals that recall Ira Kaplan and Andrew Kenney to a T. Not to forget that these bands also rocked, It Hugs Back mind the squalor of their feedback worshipping elders. Perhaps it only took these young Brits from across the pond to remind us Americans of our musical heritage. I have been waiting along time for an album to come out that pays homage to my favorite era of music. Inside Your Guitar is like the equivalent of watching Season One of the X Files, Friends, and Twin Peaks. Oh yeah, and Northern Exposure and Wings.

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