By Victor Alvin
Joey Ryan and the Inks are no strangers to polished-glittering pop, and their new EP [pause.] is more proof that straight-forward pop music still has its place in this dark and damaged world.
Such accessibility can’t help but bring to mind bands of yore such as the Beatles, or the Beach Boys. Starting with the upbeat ‘Of a Feather’, the Inks show us their strengths as vocal craftsman; a characteristic that continues throughout this melodic, six-song EP.
In ‘Pompous Chorus Line’ the guitar lead dances from major to minor, while a chorus of harmonies “oohs” along like bubblegum ballads of the 50’s.
Modern music lovers will easily point to The Shins as reference; particularly on ‘A Lonely Spark’ where Ryan sings with such precision and care it is hard not to be reminded of James Mercer.
Ending with ‘For a Minute’ a stumbling piano introduces a slow-building number that culminates with weeping George Harrison-like guitar harmonies.
Joey Ryan and the Inks are not inventors. They do not re-create themselves. What they do is hone in on simple formulas; providing music lovers something to hold onto long after the day is done, and the lights have gone out.