Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Young Sinclairs and the Art of Being Under the Influence.

"We Spoke Our Minds" EP. By guest contributor Interplanet Janet

Hal David once wrote “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of”. Sure, I won’t disagree that the world could use more love, but that’s not the only thing. Listening to The Young Sinclairs I am reminded that the world can always use more Sixties-inspired pop songs with jangly guitars. What? It matters too. When done right, it’s as vibrant and soul-lifting as anything that originally came out of that delicious era and I’m here to inform you The Young Sinclairs do it right.

Starting with the Byrdsesque and ultra-jangly  “We Spoke Our Minds”,  The Young Sinclairs take us through the cream of Sixites pop without ever having to change the record over. The tracks “You Can Have Her” and “Girl, I’m For Real” are what would be produced if The Beatles and The Kinks had musical lovechildren.  Catchy and Clever.  A winning combo. “Have A Home” and “Forever After” still carry the Sixties vibe but are also reflective of the early Nineties pre-britpop bands who were also heavily influenced by the Sixties. The under-rated UK indie band, Ride, especially comes to mind. This is evident  in the selective lo-fi production on the vocals and the from-the-past-but-oh-so-now psychedelic riffs. If it’s true that one can be judged solely by one’s influences, then The Young Sinclairs can sleep easy.

The debate about bands who are clearly heavily influenced by other bands has been done before and I’m not going to take up precious web space outlining the argument for or against bands wearing their musical influences on their sleeve.  Let’s just say I’m in the “wear it with pride” camp.  It’s as clear as the day is long who some of the bands are that The Young Sinclairs might call their musical influences, but therein also lies the bands strength. The Byrds, The Kinks and The Beatles are all the obvious ones, and with superb production as well, but the way the band interprets them in each song is what’s striking about The Young Sinclairs. Anyone can replicate a bands sound, but to do it and still somehow  retain their own unique sound is the difference between being great or being a tribute band. The Young Sinclairs, who hail from Roanoke, Virginia, are then no laughing matter. On the Roanoke City website it reads “In Roanoke you’ll find something unique: unexpected balance”.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant to describe the band that calls the city home, but it is just as fitting. They perfectly balance the best of the Sixties and Nineties and make it fresh for my retro-loving-but-not-completely-living-in-the-past ears.

I won’t name names, but you have bands that ride on the coattails of their influences and it just falls flat. Therefore, it seems to me then that taking the music of your heroes and making it good in it’s own right should be considered  a fine art. The Scottish indie bands Lenzie Moss and The Wellgreen are other excellent examples of bands who excel at wearing their influences on their sleeve without compromising their originality. Just think of your favourite band and you will probably say they are superb at this as well. If you can’t, then The Young Sinclairs may deserve to be your new favourite band. Now,  time to give them some love, sweet love.  

Review by Interplanet Janet

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Young Sinclairs here:  Facebook

Stream and purchase the "We Spoke Our Minds" EP here: Bandcamp
You can find several releases at the bandcamp page including a "Name Your price" download album of covers, B'sides and demos.

Physical copies of the bands records can be found at the excellent: Planting Seeds Records

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