Minneapolis-based band IE are part of the Shinkoyo Artist Pool. They’ve been releasing music since 2016, and over that time the outfit has both expanded and contracted. Currently a quartet, their latest album, Junk Body, conceptually explores the trials experienced by drummer, Meredith Gill, as she found herself under attack from a variety of immunological and neurological diseases. The music translating the spirit’s need to transcend the corporeal, the flesh. The result is a strange, `60s leaning, perhaps unsurprisingly, fucked-up and fragile set.
On the opening, title, track, synths sing like savannah birds while guitar chords crash and ring with serious stoner rock heavy-o-sity. Mariel Oliveira’s Nico-esque vocals however transport the song, and the whole album, away from just doom and drone. Jail is an excellent, epic sinewy ceremony of twisting tones. Meredith’s ritual, tribal, Mo Tucker, drumming and Travis Workman’s loose Eastern tunings turning, churning, a superb, psychedelic, raga. An ecstasy symphony. A soundtrack for striding in shiny, shiny, boots of leather. Rising and falling in waves. Shimmering, strummed peaks. Michael Gallope’s organ introducing a righteous Ray Manzarek edge to the Velvet Underground, Venus In Furs, All Tomorrows Parties, like proceedings.
Pentagram marries mystical lyrics, with folk fingering and maybe Mellotron reed-like riffs. The magick reinforced with a deft use of delay. Smuggler is a super slow dirge. Hands On The Floor is a magnificent, moody, but mellow, meditation, which adds a marimba melody and Joe Meek sound effects to mix. The closing Mel’s Hole matches Mariel’s ethereal exclamations with cello-like moans, softly brushed snares, and a brilliant descending bass-line. Recalling One Dove. Resurrecting The Shangri-Las at their most melancholic, and the Wilson Brothers, Brian and Dennis, at their most wasted. Not Surf’s Up, but tide’s out.
IE’s Junk Body can be ordered directly from Bandcamp.