Alt-rock is an incredibly versatile genre, one that has been shaped and textured throughout each decade. On their new EP, Inklines have curated the ultimate playbook.
With every track that they release, Inklines bring a revitalised energy to alt-rock. It’s one that feels familiar and nostalgic but is utterly new and ambitious, tracing the edges of garage, surf, and punk-rock along the way. You just have to look to their latest release Book Club for proof.
Each song on the EP slowly burns before sparking off in every possible direction. At its core, Book Club is the theatre of alt-rock scrawled in the margins of the contemporary scene, boasting a sonic sensitivity and rhythmic detail that sees the band reach their artistic dawn.
We’ve been fans of Inklines for quite a while now and it’s clear that the Northern Beaches trio aren’t fans of slowing down. While their debut EP Willing & Able perfectly mirrored the grit of the genre’s founders, it seems that the two-year gap has allowed their sonic to grow richer, their lyricism to refine, and their energy to completely burst through.
Opening with the sunburn of All I Wanted, audiences know from the start that they’re in for a treat. Perfectly curated drum and bass give the track bite, unfolding a lush sonic landscape that allows the guitar line and vocals to cut through. Fresh and piercing with sonic cohesion, it’s a track that wires all the things you loved about Silverchair and Bends-era Radiohead in the contemporary mainframe.
Where the EP’s intro left you bordering on sunstroke, Wherever You Go serves you aloe vera for your burns and a cooling glass of water. It’s as refreshing as a track can be; boasting a light yet deeply textured sonic, a subtly poetic lyrical angle, and nuance as far as the eye can see. Just add a squeeze of lemony riffs and the ice of Daniel Mulroney’s bass line, and you have yourself a nostalgic, summer-ready anthem: one that burns like a beach drenched in sunset.
Too Much, the EP’s third single, then spins this summer into a complete surf/garage rock odyssey, giving nods to ’90s legends through their softly reverbed vocals, volcanic choruses, and balladesque hooks. The trio don’t stray too far from their roots, however, reeling their sonic back in for Let You Down: a classic alt-rock stitch-up. Bleeding heartache through the singer’s pleading vocals, it is a trophy of the group’s ability to convey a lifetime of agony and understanding within the few notes of a melody.
“Dedicated to their craft, Inklines poured lived experiences and ambitions into their latest and the result is an undeniable slice of alt-rock that remains fresh even when acknowledging influences harking back to the ’90s and early ’00s,” the band’s bio reads.
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Inklines nearly ended up with a 4th band member one night when we accidentally picked up a hitchhiker. We were leaving a mates place and he kinda just appeared in the car out of nowhere without actually asking us for a lift. 5 extremely awkward minutes later he mumbled something along the lines of “here will do”, opened the car door while it was still moving and stumbled off down the road, never to be seen again. Weird night. Wonder what that guys up to now… Anyone else had a memorable hitchhiker experience? #InklinesBand #InklinesMusic
“The song just came out of nowhere and it was the first time I felt like I’d been more creative and ‘weird’ with my songwriting. A funny thought now, but it was special at the time,” frontman Will Tremain adds about Let You Down.
With three incredibly divergent tracks, the EP comes to its brilliant end. Better feels almost like an anthem of reconciliation, coming to terms with all the themes unravelled through the record in a punchy and upbeat daze. Enter Violet, the EP’s dark, brooding conflict. The single is inky at its beginning, seeping through the pages of the band’s alt-rock playbook with a gothic rock feel. The chorus then erupts into a nocturnal garage frenzy, leaving your eardrums aching and your heart pounding.
Finishing with a folkesque acoustic gem in Cornerstone, layers of strummed chords and piano melodies softly wash over each other while the singer reconciles the entire EP in 4-minutes. As the ferocity of the Tremain’s vocals begin to reignite, you expect the track to unleash in a final alt-rock explosion. It doesn’t though, choosing to tastefully refrain. It is the final instalment needed to complete the puzzle.
“Hours spent in the studio curating the tracks are always the best times. Dedicating your days to the music you love playing and making the songs sound as good as possible is the most rewarding experience,” drummer Tom Bowden explains.
We have all been impatiently waiting for a complete ’90s alt-rock revival, Inklines may have just lit the spark. Book Club is as much a gallery of genre, ambition, and symbolism as it is an EP. Rich and smouldering in its sonic but detailed in its lyricism, it is a release with unexplainable potential.
Check out the EP below: