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In Ink Please-Formica Table For Two

Band Name: In Ink Please
Album Name: Formica Table For Two
Best Element: Vanessa Palmer’s gorgeous voice
Genre: Lo-fi Pop
Label name: Fall Records
Band e-mail:

I have always thought there was something to be said for bands that harbor only a couple members. Usually, it seems that these individuals are multitalented (as most are), but others just stick with the same comfortable instruments. If a band does fit into the latter category, they had better produce some really original pieces so as to hold my interest. In Ink Please may fall into the latter category, but it does so without regret.

Formica Table for Two is In Ink Please’s first true LP (they did a split with The White Foliage), but it feels like a live album. It begins with is “More or Less,” which has a pretty atypical sound of the remainder of the album. “If You Don’t like it, Throw it in the Rhine” (a title I still have yet to fully understand), features a violin and bass. Unfortunately, they seem to be simply background noise and are hard to distinguish, but Venessa Palmer does break into rather beautiful German. Palmer steps away from the piano in “Too Hot There Anyhow” and picks up a guitar, all the while keeping that soft, elegant voice moving. Palmer’s voice is by far the best aspect of the album, giving it the delicate character that permeates every track. “Also a Nice Compact” brings in a little electric intro that has a downer effect on the rest of the track. It makes me feel sad (like listening to too much Iron & Wine or Coldplay would do), but don’t get me wrong, it is one of the best tracks, next to “Carlo Rossi Jug Band” and its addictive handclap segments.

This is one of those albums that honestly feels like a live album. The best comparison I can think of is The Mountain Goats, however strange that may sound. Now, I am no huge fan of The Mountain Goats, but I am a fan of their sound. It is one of those sounds that is minimalist and relaxed. It’s like their playing just for the hell of it. This is exactly what In Ink Please does. Palmer and Hendrickson no longer reside in the same state, but when they do get together they “usually end up writing catchy acoustic songs about recent developments in their lives or playing Black Sabbath covers.” Sometimes music is just too over produced, but this well-produced sheen is how more music should sound.

-Mark Pranger