Monday, March 12, 2012

Like the Blood - Night Genes

Like the Blood

Night Genes

SCQ Rating: 72%

However you feel about Eric Ingersoll, the deep-baritone vocalist and quirky primary songwriter of Night Genes, it’s hard not to respect his intentions. With a voice that occasionally calls to mind Jason Segel’s Dracula impression from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and arrangements that up the dramatic stakes to operatic levels, Night Genes are a tough act to impulsively lust after. When these idiosyncrasies combine, as they do on “Woods Are Full Of Animals”, they help define what Ingersoll’s intentions truly are: to be a unique voice amid a scene of synthetic noise.

Not that Like the Blood would catapult the Idaho-based band toward the tastemakers’ fickle universe in the first place, but that’s the point: the highlights of this album purposefully stand in opposition to all that’s immediate and trend-seeking in today’s disposable music culture. If “Woods Are Full Of Animals” feels too isolating, there’s no questioning the stark appeal of “Cyber Me” which, over an awkward keyboard refrain and some acoustic harmonics, creates an addictive yet bizarre pop song. Slower, meditative tracks also blossom into loveable swansongs; “Sweeper” crests on an atmospheric build of acoustics and organ, ultimately feeding off of beautiful female backing vocals, whereas “Ornaments” strips back to the palpable intimacy of Ingersoll with his guitar and sparse keys.

There’s no discussing Night Genes – especially in relation to popular independent music – without mentioning the National’s Matt Berninger, whose baritone marginally resembles Ingersoll’s. “Impression: Flood” even sounds like an alternate take on The National’s “Wasp Nest” until Night Genes’ weird synth line comes into play. But in spite of the superficial comparisons, not to mention the handful of strangely hypnotic songs on Like the Blood, it’s likely that Ingersoll is aiming for a fan-base more cult-like in spirit. That unwillingness to assimilate makes Like the Blood an odd but admirable inclusion to one’s record collection.

No comments: