The Young Sinclairs// This is The Young Sinclairs
Recommended Track: You’re Tied
One reliable litmus test for defining a classic rock ‘n roll or pop song is if regardless of where you’re at when you first hear it, you’re suddenly not there, but in a convertible with the top down driving north on the 101 freeway, the sparkling Pacific Ocean on your left, flower strewn hillsides on your right. So it is with “You’re Tied”, the opening track on the new LP from the Young Sinclairs.
If you’re a fan of jangly Byrds influenced rock n roll, a warm happy feeling of euphoria should come over you at some point during the 3 minutes and 15 seconds of the opening song’s duration. If there is any justice in the world “You’re Tied” would be what they called in the olden days “a smash hit.” Hearing it for the second time in a row I’m reminded of something written about the Resonars, another contemporary band who worships at the same 1960s altar that’s apropos to this stellar opening track: One of the best songs of 1965 was released October of 2014.
While still wearing its 60s references on its sleeve, the second song on the LP, “Mona Lisa”, feels less like a Monkees episode and more reminiscent of Green on Red, an influential group from the so-called Paisley Underground circa 1980′s Los Angeles. As the album progresses, two songs strike my fancy in a way that stands out. “New Day” sounds a bit like diffused sunshine or what Southern Californians call “haze,” while “Orion” is a pretty tune with subtle Zombies-esque organ and Beachwood Sparks style California vocals.
Just as I’m about to go back and play the opening track again things take a surprising turn. Beginning with “That’s all Right” through “Dead End Street” the Young Sinclairs become the Band, as in The Band, the iconic rock band who helped usher in the Americana roots rock thing. It sounds to me as if the hypothetical children of Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson who, after having gone to private school in Brentwood, grew up and made a record. In actuality mining this territory seems like second nature to the Young Sinclairs, no doubt reflecting the musical vibes coming from the Magic Twig Community, their own “basement” of likeminded musicians recording and collaborating deep in the woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Roanoke Virginia.
This is the Young Sinclairs is strong throughout with solid song craftsmanship, pleasant harmonies, pop hooks, and continuity of content. The one minor flaw I have is the slight comedown from the adrenaline high I felt after the first song. Minus the opening track, you have a solid LP, with it you have a classic album. Next time I’ll save the dessert for after the main course.