The Chicago Vibe


The Love-Inns Refuse to Fit in Your Box

Cody Corrall | July 2017

This is an installment of Eff Your Boys Club, a bi-weekly column highlighting and discussing the marginalized voices in music.

The Love-Inns are not a girl band; they are an elaborate collective of individuals who want to make good punk music, all while challenging the boys club mentality that comes with the genre. The Love-Inns are Ariela Barer (she/her) on bass, vocals and sometimes drums, Eden Hain (they/them) on guitar and vocals, and Mack Kenny (he/him) on drums. And they make some damn good music.

The Love-Inns comes from the “love-ins” of the 1960s, coined by Peter Bergman. They acted as peaceful gatherings and protests against social and environmental issues in the political counterculture of the 1960s. The Love-Inns are that ideology realized. They act as a safe space in a music scene that has turned pretty ugly by staying true to their roots and embracing the liberation that can come from punk music.

“Contrary to popular belief, true punk isn't about being mean to people even if it stems from anger, it's about giving a voice to those who don't have one,” the band said on their Instagram. “So, there's no room for discrimination in punk, got it?”

Their debut album “SPLIT LIP” is the culmination of the past two years of their work as a band, and it’s one of the best debut albums to come out this year. In 10 short tracks, the LA based group takes the listener on a ride with confessional lyrics about fuckboys, long lost lovers and growing up, complimented by punk melodies and charming sometimes singing, sometimes screaming vocals.

The lo-fi music video for their title single “Split Lip,” follows the band playing a house show and dealing with punk boys who compare every band not composed of straight cis men to Girlpool. It breaks out into a mosh by the pool and a glitter-infused fist fight. “I'll split my lip open so you can taste my night/I'll black your eyes so yours is just as bad as mine.”

One of the album's highlights is a 90 second femme anthem called “Don’t Hit on Me.” It fits right into a mosh at a loud DIY show but with booming lyrics about sexism and not taking any shit. “Don’t fight for my honor cause my honor fights back/I won’t take shit from a guy who can’t take shit from a girl.”

The second to last track “Asthma,” is where the confessional, diary entry-esque lyricism shines. “Can you tell me that I’m pretty if I don’t cry?/Do you drink before you drive because you want to die?/You’ll always be my favorite color/Years from now when we don’t speak to each other.” It’s easy to fall in a lyrical rut with punk music. Most of the time, it’s the intricate guitar and bass melodies that set punk bands apart. The Love-Inns have managed to make every song unique, not just with the bass lines, but also with the honesty and vulnerability in their lyrics. They’ve nearly perfected the craft of punk, while adding some much-needed perspectives to the genre, in just their first album.

The Love-Inns describe themselves as “loud and very good.” Both of these are massive understatements.

Download SPLIT LIP on Bandcamp.

Chicago Vibe