Kent, England based band It Hugs Back seem to revel in being a throwback to the early 90's era of guitar drenched pop music. Their debut `Inside Your Guitar' calls to mind various bands such as The Lemonheads, My Bloody Valentine and Teenage Fanclub. The band has a dreamy tone with doses of guitar squall peppered with electronic bleeps and bloops thrown in for good measure. Vocals are often buried deep in the mix with lyrics being second nature to the mood that the melodies conjure.
"Q" languidly opens the album before seemingly melting into guitar feedback and then rerouting to the melody. "Work Day" is brisk and strummy, and resembles the most straightforward pop song on `Inside Your Guitar.' "Forgotten Song" comes on like a sigh as the looping guitar chord progression blends with the subtle organ.
The mid section of this album stumbles a bit as the songs kind of take a backseat and feel kind of half-baked. Rocker "Now + Again" wakes the album from its slumber albeit briefly with its jagged guitar riffs and hushed vocals. "Look Out" and "Rehearsal" close the album with quiet and loud dynamics, which leads to a less than stellar climax almost as if It Hugs Back is afraid to cut loose and tread close to mediocrity.
`Inside Your Guitar' is a pleasant listen that could have benefited from a looser production style, as most of the songs seem constricted. As It Hugs Back find their voice, they could be a formidable band to contend with in the future.