Rock steady A clever mind can usually appreciate those edgy, hyphenated genres: alt-country, blip-hop, and indie-bhangra-booty-bass all make sense to someone, somewhere. But some folks just want to keep things straightforward and go with the gut. When you're ready for a big burning swig of life-affirming, fist-pumping, 80-proof rawk, check out an ing show. The rangy San Francisco quartet pack arena-rocking grandeur into a bar-band aesthetic, showing more honesty and emotion in a single set than most groups muster in a career. That's not to say there's no room for intellect: ing's lyrics, delivered in Sean Mylett's plaintive voice, are poetic and evocative, while Mark Smotroff's expansive guitar waxes, wanes, and wails. After three years with their present lineup, ing have reached the pinnacle of their expression their newest release, Stagger and Belligerence (Heyday), is brilliant proving the relevance and resilience of good ol' rock 'n' roll. Bottoms up. The Lawnmowers and Finding Stella also play. 8 p.m., Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk, S.F. (415) 921-1695. $5. (Jonathan Zwickel)
8 Days a Week, San Francisco Bay Guardian, January 2004
See the article
Ing - Stagger & Belligerence
Heyday Records - Hey059-2
The second album from this Frisco act is another killer mix of retro psychedelic influences, gritty alt pop and heartland power rock. Listen to the Fabulous Thunderbirds meets My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult of "Not Dead Not Dying" and you'll get the picture. "Satellites" has a decided Brit pop edge, another aspect that weaves its way through a number of songs. Jangly guitars, vocals like Michael Stipe on a more folk kick and granite solid beats predominate.
Music Morsels, January 2004
Ings trippy homegrown rock from the angsty bowels of introspection has its roots in irony and reality. From Brotherhood Way "The night lost the war to the crack in the dawn believing our voices or lies marching on And the pain in their faces mirror reflection in the glass Turning away and youre facing the window that peers to the past/ Did you hear what our brothers did down on brotherhood Way?" My faves also include the delightfully tripped out Big Beautiful Dipper and the lighter held high Satellites.
Radio-Free Pusspuss (scroll to bottom of page)
Castro Online, November 2003
What do you do as a follow-up to winning "Best Local Rock Band" in the Bay Guardian's "Best of the Bay Reader's Poll"? If you're the San Francisco-based band ing, you win a couple more reader awards, record a great new album -- Stagger and Belligerence -- in the legendary The Plant recording studios with engineer/producer Justin Phelps (Cake, Chris Isaak, Joe Satriani), then sign a deal with adventurous indie label HeyDay Records to release it.
StarPolish, October 2003
People's Choice Award: Best Club Band
"Indie rockers ing, with their clanging, melodic power pop, are the kind of band you could happily listen to all night."
San Francisco Magazine, July 2003
(Best of the Bay Area Issue)
San Francisco's Ing stopped in at The Plant Studios' Studio B.
Mix, January 2003
"There's a big difference between a great, catchy melody and trend-hopping pop fluff"
San Francisco Weekly, March 2003
There's a big difference between a great, catchy melody and trend-hopping pop fluff. Ing manages to create choruses that sound new and catchy without buying into the latest trend-of-the-minute or falling back on tired classic rock. Remember songwriting? Youngsters in the audience might not know this, but songwriters are people who actually write songs, and then sing them, too! With their upcoming release, Ing continues onward in the Bay Area's always-almost-breaking-out power pop scene. Our scene's integrity keeps it from producing The Next Big Thing because many bands would rather have it on their own terms (and our indie scene is occasionally afraid of solid pop). Ing just might be that act that makes it out.
Tony Brooke, Listen Up 2003 (SF Weekly)
Best Local Rock Band
"When our readers are ready to rock, they listen to the timeless music of ing. Formed as a duo in 1995, this now four-piece band, who have several records under their belt, play a mix of classic British and American rock, blues, punk, and pop."
Best of the Bay 2002
(scroll to bottom of page)
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Our first appearance in Mix Magazine!
Mix, January 1st, 2003
"Put simply... they rock. That's all this music fan cares about.... ing has a sound that can't miss."
OutVoice, February 2002
"... these guys are a regular Nirvana of hard-driving, highly listenable, super energetic punk - and blues-based rock, served up with an ecstatic storm of guitars and drums plus powerful vocalizing. ing and Black Kali Ma both have big, hearty bearish sounds... Their albums are lush with manly/boyish energy, exuding a secuctive mix of angst, despair, hope, love and other real-life feedback."
Bay Area Reporter, February 2002
Frontiers, February 2002
ing - Liberty
" ing's Liberty album is a feel good rock experience. They combine the traditional sounds of bands like R.E.M. with Seattle tasting licks. Hailing from the San Francisco area, they've taken their richly artistic environment and turned it into something for all to enjoy. ing was originally formed as a duo band by Mark Smotroff and Sean Mylett with nothing but two guitars to accompany their vocals. Now they've added Dominick Ulman on bass and Chris Brown on drums. With this addition, they've come full circle into a band worthy of radio play across the country.
"All the songs on this CD are talent seeping works, that are worthy of air time. I think college radio across the country would eat this album up and love every savory moment of it. The work seems familiar to you even if it's the first time you've heard ing. All the lyrics are taken from life experiences we can all relate too and their sound is a friendly voyage of rhythm. Enjoy!"
Music Dish, January 2001
"Ing hails from San Francisco, and the locals here immediately recognize their distinctive, original style as part of the San Francisco club soundtrack. Ing is a must-hear for all you REM and Neil Young fans out there...."
Angry Coffee, December 2000
"All in all, this album [Liberty] rocks. It's just that simple."
TheGlobalMuse.com, November 2000
Billboard, October 28, 2000
"Listening to Bay Area band ing's latest release, a musical transportation takes place back to the college days when cheap beer and jangly guitars ruled the world.... While this is a band that loves and reveres their influences, the do not settle for merely recreating them."
Scott Tinetti, West Coast Performer, August 2000
"Tricky time changes, catchy hooks, and fat harmonies ... strong songs are ing's thing."
SF Bay Guardian, May 2000
"Listen-able, tenable, and excellent."
"Save for a few sparks, pop music of 1999 mostly droned.... I'm encouraged by the fact that I hear some great local bands that do sound fresh and may someday trigger a grass-roots movement toward quality. Ing, Your Precious You, Tin Hat Trio, Ten in the Swear Jar make music that must make record companies cringe. It can't be compared or sold like soft drinks.
Brad Kava, San Jose Mercury News, December 7, 1999
"ing is continuing to climb the musical ladder. This new CD [Liberty] stays true to the earliest of ing recordings but in many ways refines what they are doing and takes it to the next level. These guys are carving their own path with their own original music."
Songwriters Monthly, October 1999
"Ing are one of those indie bands that you continually seek-out because you know you're never going to be disappointed with the results. "Liberty" is the second CD I've acquired, their first being the slightly more modest (but equally entertaining) "First Version of the Wheel." This is likely due to the fact that the band has doubled its members and is now a quartet. "Liberty" starts out in trademark Ing-stylee with "Confusion"- a track that, if you only read the lyrics, would appear to be woeful and lethargic. In fact, the opposite is true- the track pours with sunlight and chipper ambivalence. Very SoCal. Other standout tracks include "Inside Out", "Drop" and "Good Friday". My one complaint is that the songs go by very quickly, and the album is a tad short. Still, if you like bands with strong lyrics, good tunes and that still have their souls, Ing is a good place to start.
amazon.com (reviewed by an MP3.com staffer!), Fall 1999
Billboard, September 18, 1999
"ing" offers up a boundary-breaking melange of acousti-pop that makes you think of what might happen if Elvis Costello joined REM and asked Simon & Garfunkel and The Smiths to collaborate.
Riffage.com, Sept 1, 1999
"Who's A Suffix? They's ing. They call their music acoustipop. They are 'all about crossing boundaries... They welcome live tapers at their gigs ... What's not to like?"
Frontiers, June 3, 1999
"Ing is the ing-ingest rock, blues, country and psychedelic band around, hailing from the Bay Area and undeterred by the fact that their name looks, in print, like a typographical error. On Thursday they ping and zing over to the Paradise Lounge."
San Francisco Chronicle, Datebook Section, May 1999
"Merges sincerity with weirdness in a tuneful collection.... a spirit of sonic adventure inside the flexible wall of structure songs..."
Information Sickness #9, February 1999
"Fun and bouncy.... these guys would make a great party band."
Fright X, October 1998
"Vocals like Trout Fishing In America with Jim Croce sitting in while doing Simon & Garfunkel-like harmonies....some pretty favorable colors...."
Songwriters Monthly, April 1998
"With the emphasis on songwriting, the album has a earthy identifiable sound. My favorite cut was the opening track "Lux Radio" which could have easily been written by an early hip version of R.E.M. and would do as well on like stations. Electrifying, Exploring, Motivating, Captivating,"
BayScene, December 1, 1997
"With their songs being so lyrical and their melody so strong, their works easily can be distinguished from number of "alternative"musics."
Yoshi Nakamura, Seventh Heaven Music (indie music website in Japan!), August 30, 1997
"This folk/pop duo combines sensitivity and joy in their music with strong melodies, vocals and harmonies which are clearly influenced by the likes of Neil Young, The Kinks, XTC and REM.... a sound that is uniquely their own."
Christoper Perry, Q San Francisco, September 1997
"We like your guys stuff... your music is good"
Jason A. Mezilis, Bay Bands (indie music website, San Jose, CA), August 27, 1997
"The ultimate gerund experience"
SF Weekly, September 24, 1997
"They had pretty voices and I like pretty voices."
Greg Heller, BAM Magzazine, "Night Fever: SF Area Nightlife" (from review of Bottom of the Hill performance), August 22, 1997