Sinch's self-titled debut is an album that deserves multiple listens before making any firm decisions toward it, as the music contained within is rather difficult to develop an instant understanding of. This in itself is rather odd, as at face value Sinch is an alternative rock band with an aggressive edge -- certainly not a style that is exceptionally new. This is where one may stumble, as Sinch is anything but the processed bleatings of such rock phenoms as Creed or Default, yet it is a likely assumption that is where this album will be assigned by those who find the need to classify every musical style. The album opens with three songs that repeatedly fall flat, which gives the listener an uneasy feeling toward venturing further into the album, yet things begin to pick up with the album's first single, "Something More." This mainstream rock goldmine has everything it is supposed to have to attract prospective fans: catchy hooks that remain in the memory long after the song ends, guitars that alter from melodic, whimsical auras to abrasive, searing riffage, and strong lyrics. Sinch experiments with hidden samples and awkward vocal tricks to keep the listener unprepared for the next leap into the unknown, and they do a satisfiable job at holding one's attention throughout the remainder of the album. Sinch should have ended their debut with the spectacular epic "The Silent Acquiescence of Millions" or the pulsating programming intricacy of "Bitmap," but instead leave the listener with the bland "Armslength." This song steers the group back into the clumsy music transitions and undecided tinkering of the opening tracks, bringing the group full circle to where they began. Frontman Jamie Stem never really commits to one vocal style, instead toying with choppy singing and watered-down screams. While neither would fare well if left alone, together these distant vocal styles weave a tumultuous wave of emotion and bitterness. Stem's lyrics are extremely well written, and although they recycle the themes of rain, making mistakes, and the feeling of pain, never feel repetitive or lacking in conviction. One intriguing aspect of Sinch is the ocular noise machine that the band proudly boasts as their own unique invention, yet it is rather hard to pinpoint exactly when Jay Smith uses this grand musical contraption. It may serve as the texturing each song is blanketed with, and if that's the case this machine is impressive, since it never leaves a song with the emptiness many rock songs contain. Sinch displays a wealth of potential here, although much of that potential remains unfocused, causing songs to grab the listener and then leave them hanging with no pleasurable embrace. If nothing else, Sinch's debut is an album that allows listeners to see a band who in time will be amazing, but this time around has managed to churn out an uneven collection of tremendous peaks clumped between disappointing valleys.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason D. Taylor