Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inkwell - Shine So Bright 7"

Today it is raining and 10 degrees Celsius. It is dark and miserable outside. Perfect weather for number 2 in my emo series!

Inkwell were not the biggest of names when it comes to the mid 90's emo scene. They weren't around for more than a couple of years, releasing just two 7"s and a split 7" with Hal al Shedad. Actually for the time, that was pretty close to wearing out your welcome. Any more releases and you would be labeled wannabe rock stars and probably get ostracized anyway.

Inkwell in my opinion hit the mother load with their second 7". The two songs, "Shine So Bright" and "Portrait" are pretty much the perfect representation of the sound and style of 90's emo/screamo. All the elements are here. Soft/loud dynamics, throat shredding screams, lyrics that read like poetry, etc. It literally doesn't get better than this.

Shine So Bright was released on Heliotrope / Orion Quest Records, the second release from same label that released the original Converge Unloved and Weeded Out 7". In other words, Tre McCarthy put it out.
It's interesting that a small Atlanta, Georgia band stuck outside of the popular California, midwest and DC/Jersey/Philly scenes, that played 80% of their gigs at home, caught the eye and ear of a Massachusetts hardcore kid. I'm sure there is a story there.

I don't know how many were pressed, but they were numbered.

The packaging for this record is really awesome. A screened clear plastic foldover on top of the sleeve which has the lyrics. Looks great in person.
You can easily find this on ebay for $5. Well worth it. Truly one of the forgotten and under appreciated gems of the scene.


  1. Man, I wanted to like this band at the time, but I struggled to get into them. Can't listen to them at all these days. Would gladly unload them from my record collection...which says a lot, since I hold on to pretty much everything. I remember Inkwell playing a show in New Bedford, Mass...I'm not sure on the timing, but it could be where Tre or Justin Kollar (who ran the Heliotrope side of this release) decided to put this record out.


  2. Converge played with them on the first Converge tour in 95 when we went down the East Coast. Both Justin and I were on the tour, and we fought over this band, like we fought over the Converge 7" we released together.

    I'll probably write a big story on this when I do a write up on it on vinyl noize. :)

  3. My copy has blue ink for the lyric sheet, instead of red.


  4. wow, random late night find. thanks for the kind words about the record! as for the comments, tre is obviously correct. we played with converge in a teeny tiny place in south carolina. was quite an exciting time. and the idea that someone besides ourselves wanting to put out a record of ours was quite thrilling. we continued to randomly cross paths with tre and the converge guys throughout the years.

    as for mike, we did play the new bedford fest, but that was near our end. in fact it might have been the last show we were able to play on the tour as our van died and we had to limp home a week early and cancel the rest of the shows. and soon afterward parted ways. had an excellent time playing a handful of shows with our buddies in chokehold on that tour.

    i remember there being some "weirdness" with extra pressings of this 7", some secretive shenanigans and possibly a hijack or kidnap of various boxes, but i can't remember. haha. anyway, thanks again! i know i'm reading this a year late, but it was a nice find.


  5. Inkwell is probably one of my favorite bands, and not just because I'm from Atlanta. They hit the nail on the head as far as this sound and aesthetic goes. This is definitely their best release.

    x x x