"In Direct Communication" CD
Genre: lo-fi, rock
Sep 9 2008
I don't know what Unknown Component lies hidden in these ten
songs, but it certainly isn't quality. Being an indie reviewer, I can
forgive - even embrace - the lo-fi production values involved in these
ten songs. But when combined with bland songwriting and miserable
vocals, In Direct Communication just comes out flat.
Step one for sole band member Keith Lynch: hire a singer.
He's got an insidious, gruff little moan that is equal parts Raine
Maida and Billie Joe Armstrong, except without either frontman's
personality or guile. It is at odds with the other instruments,
sounding incompatible with the songs and frequently too low in the
mix. This becomes especially pronounced in the louder, rock-heavy
moments of the record, as on the peaks of "Identifying Interpretation"
and "Into the Sun."
Regardless, there is a catchy quality to these songs that comes out
despite the music's shortcomings. "It's a Fine Line" is undeniably
infectious, if blandly grungy, and "Retrospectively Speaking" is
downright hummable. On the other hand, sonic turds like "Between Guilt
and Relief" and "Somewhere a Light Has Gone Out" have nothing to
recommend about them. And sadly, it is these
musical missteps that happen to comprise the majority
of In Direct Communication.
I find it hard to believe that this album
was considered by Lynch to be a polished release. On certain songs, he
demonstrates his ability to shoot off a decent pop hook – yet quite
miserably, these moments are overshadowed by an abundance of
less-than-successful songs. Add to that Unknown Component's
bland sound and obvious vocal limitations, and you have a songwriter
that needs to consider a full re-tool. Or a career change. Sorry,
unknown component's myspace
"between guilt and relief" video,
"on your mind" video
[Vitals: 10 tracks, 38
minutes, distributed by
released Sep. 16, 2008]