Wednesday, 02 July 2014 14:41

Inflatable Best Friend Gets Focused on New Album

Written by  Dwayne Hoover
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Inflatable Best Friend Inflatable Best Friend COURTESY PHOTO

Inflatable Best Friend wsg. M. Sord, Brother Gruesome, Mold
Shakespeare's Pub, Kalamazoo
July 16, 9 p.m.
21+, (269) 488-7782

Call it garage rock, noise rock, psychedelic punk or even just experimental. Whatever the label, the young trio out of Richland that makes up Inflatable Best Friend is preparing to unleash their sophomore record and set out on tour in support.

The approach to the band's newest album, Ectoplasmic Puke Wizard, was quite a bit different from that of its initial LP. The IBF guys wanted this one to feel less "scatterbrained" than the first, so they went into their second record with a bit more focus.

"We sat down before writing and decided what sort of direction we wanted to go with on this album," said Ian Howell, drummer for the band. "We all seemed to unanimously agree that Ectoplasmic Puke Wizard needed to be faster, heavier and noisier, and I think we did an excellent job of meeting all of those goals."

They took this new focus with them to Double Phelix Studios in Kalamazoo, where they recorded their 10 fuzzed-out tracks. And while Inflatable Best Friend has always been a strong proponent of the DIY mentality, the benefits of working with an actual studio became very apparent to the group.

"It was nice to work with some flexible and professional people," Howell said. "I think it absolutely shows on this album how much time we spent in the studio trying to get all of the tracks to sound just right."

The band's sound is obviously influenced by noise-rock stylings of bands like Lightning Bolt, but there's some straight-up punk energy that makes itself known as well.

"You can definitely catch a few old punk throwbacks in there," Howell said. "Not too long ago at a show in Grand Rapids, someone said we reminded them of The Crucif***s, which I thought was a very interesting comparison."

The new album will be released and distributed on the Placenta Recordings label out of Traverse City with a tour kick-off and album release show at Shakespeare's in Kalamazoo. From there, it's a no-days-off tour of the Midwest and East Coast in support of the new record, playing some stages the band is pretty excited about, including The Cake Shop in New York.

"We've been pretty fortunate this time around," Howell said. "We booked some seriously awesome venues."

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