steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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The Young Sinclairs

"Songs of the Young Sinclairs" CD


Genre: indie rock

Roanoke, VA

April 2010

It just so happened that I was listening to early Byrds mere hours before sinking my teeth into The Young Sinclairs' surprising debut. And, well, these five Virginians play songs that might have come straight off of Turn! Turn Turn! or Younger Than Yesterday -- though the vocals here are less iconic (and lower in the mix) and The Young Sinclairs admittedly rev up their guitars a bit more frequently ("Engineer Man," "Blessed Blackness," etc.). Still, the jangly, psychedelia-inflected folk is executed with tasty precision, and the subtly tinny production often approaches a period-piece-esque accuracy that could fool all but the most attentive sixties fetishists.

So how about them songs? Well, there's a reason Kindercore tracked these Roanokeans (??) down. This lengthy LP -- pieced together from five self-released CDRs -- is not without its miscues, but it is more often awash in sweet, joyous melody. It's certainly an album that's about its individual songs, as these typically short nuggets are designed to stand on their own. Lead songwriters Sam Lunsford and Sean Poff craft agreeable nuggets which range from tight, trebly folk-rock ("Tough Face," "Darling") to hazy, feedback-soaked acid-pop ("Honeysuckle Rose and Pumpkin," "Tribe"). My intuition tells me that each listener will comb through Songs of the Young Sinclairs and identify their own favourites -- there's plenty to pick from here -- and this might be the best thing about the record. I'm personally bound to "Everything I Do is Wrong," a twangy country-pop nugget that sits near disc's end, though resigned "The Most Impressive," with its sun-wearied demeanour, has lately been gaining ground based on atmosphere alone. Still, almost every song on this seventeen-track LP has something warm and glorious about it, and that's what makes these newly-disseminated locals such a rewarding find.

the young sinclairs' myspace

First song is "Cancelled Flight" from this album:

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 18 tracks, distributed by the label, released March 30, 2010]