THE IN OUT
Best Jagged Rock Band Not Copping the ‘80s Revival
The In Out, one of Boston’s best bands, makes music that is cerebral, dense and surly, but that broad description can only start to get at what makes them so good. Formed in 1996, the band has toured both America and Europe and released three full lengths; 1997’s Cosmosis, 1998’s Viscera Versa Story (a compilation of primitively recorded early singles), and 2000’s monumental A Living Memorial in Deutschland. Their newest disc, the excellent Il Dito and Other Gestures, released in February by Texas’ Emperor Jones Records (one time home to American Analog Set and the Mountain Goats) finds a middle ground among their previous releases, creating a sound that makes few concessions to being either contemporary or easily accessible. This middle ground involved little compromise and is far from an indication of a softening approach. Instead, it’s a logical progression; the story of the album resides more in the details of the recording and its careful construction. Slashing feedback is one method of getting people’s attention but the In Out’s subtle, simmering aggression lasts longer and is surprisingly more effective at chasing hipsters out of a club.
The Fall and Joy Division are obvious influences on the group’s dark, aggressive sound but they avoid easy categorization. Word on the band has been spreading slowly but consistently and it’s the kind of enthusiastic word-of-mouth that results in fiercely devoted fans. They achieved their widest national exposure touring as an opening band for Sebadoh in 2001. Beginning with their first singles they’ve been cultivating a sound that is beginning to gain more attention on a national level, especially when played by bands from New York. The In Out remain refreshingly free of the scent of trend hopping and continue to produce albums that are likely to hold up well over time. Whatever commercial or critical success the band may meet with figures to be a case of the masses coming around to them and not the other way around. The band, guitarist / vocalist Todd Nudelman, bassist Andrew Abrahamson, and drummer Eric Boomhower, play largely around Boston, venturing out on the road for varying lengths of time. They’ll be on the road in support of Il Dito and Other Gestures beginning this fall.