In the Cinema are a band with options. What does that mean? Well this is a band that considers itself a combination between folktronica and instrumental music. This is the case so much so, that their latest album, For The Struggleis offered in instrumental and folktronica versions. Taking the music they write and wrapping words around it is one option while the band also give you the option of letting the trippy downtempo tunes do their own talking. What you like really comes down to preference but both offer interesting things.
First off, In the Cinema write some darn fine downtempo songs vocals or no vocals. They're not quite trip hop but instead hover in that grey area where beats that wander in and out like spirits make themselves at home in a casual manner. Minimal when it needs to be and sweeping and dramatic at other times, For The Strugglesounds as if it were a struggle...not to record...but to perceive as scenes and visual elements that go along with this album. It's imaginative stuff that seems like it belongs, oddly enough...In the Cinema. As cheesy as that might sound, the band really excels at creating atmospheric tunes that while on the downtempo tip still leave room for your imagination to wander around in.
When the band takes all that atmospheric music and lets their lyrical prowess go wild on the songs they have some similar success but it seems the band is truly at their best when they check the vocals at the door. Sounding something a bit more radio friendly version of themselves meeting the drama of Coldplay or maybe even some Death Cab for Cutie, the atmospheric tunes turn into lovelorn songs that almost seem too ballady for their own good. It's not all like that, but the band definitely take the downtempo grooves and ramp up the tear jerking element when they ad vocals. These songs are just as suited for a movie as well, in fact, some of the songs almost lend themselves to some sort of dramatic chick flick involving lots of dramatic situations. "Tie Me Up," for example is the perfect song for today and I half expect it to be in a movie by the end of the year; with love being compared to home equity it's an anthem for our time.
With the ability to switch hit like someone out of the Major Leagues, In the Cinema are a versatile bunch. While I prefer the instrumental dramatics that steer this band and my imagination into unchartered reamls, For The Struggle has some decent vocal moments on it as well. Dramatic and intriguing, For The Struggle takes the best of folktronica and mashes it together with downtempo into something that's fun to listen to whether your in a cinema or not.