Right from the stark opening electric-piano chords to “Slither,” the first track on Southern California alternative band Inner’s debut disc, the listener feels in for a special experience. Band leader, singer, songwriter and guitarist Jennifer Turner brings her considerable musical experience to bear on the material offered here. Turner once wrote and played for indie band Furslide and also co-wrote tunes with former 10,000 Maniacs guiding light Natalie Merchant, playing guitar on Merchant’s Tigerlily album.
Turner’s own influences are only suggested—Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and other, slightly edgier ’70s and ’80s sources are reflected in her works. And yet somehow Turner avoids becoming pigeonholed by any of those influences, moving effortlessly from the jerky electric rhythms of “Can’t Sit Still” to the meandering acoustic lilt of “Begun.”
Live, Inner has been known to whip out a couple of fantastic Led Zeppelin covers on occasion, as if Turner’s own great songs weren’t enough to recommend the group. Band mates Erica Quitzow and Sam Omeechavarria are perfectly sympathetic musicians, never overplaying the songs but adding accents and nuances as needed. Quitzow’s use of vintage synthesizers is particularly inspired.