These Are Not Fall Colors

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Predating most of today's emo rock darlings, Lync took the cutesy indie pop indigenous to their home of Olympia, WA, and added a noisy, distorted musical element. Guitarist Sam Jayne savors the same alternative tunings that are the benchmark of Sonic Youth, but instead of submerging them in a melee of distortion, he lays the chords bare with only the natural overdrive of a Fender amp. The drums are also understated, recorded with a lo-fi flat thud. That leaves bassist James Bertram, who propels the music by attacking his instrument with an aggression typically found in much harder bands like the Jesus Lizard. While the sonic specifics are critical in explaining Lync, they are, of course, only half the story. The songwriting is impeccable, with many of the album's songs remaining valid after years of repeat listenings. "Silverspoon Glasses" is an energetic rev-up, while "Turtle" has a storybook sing-song refrain about a baby turtle hatching from its shell. With those kindergarten sentiments, the song sticks in your head like an old Sesame Street favorite. The centerpiece of the album is the epic single-picked guitar riff of "Cue Cards," which leads into the coda-like melancholy of "Angelfood Fodder and Vitamins." Together, the two songs make a single piece of music as majestic as "Stairway to Heaven," without reverting to rock & roll histrionics. The members of Lync were innovators, as a slew of emo bands followed in their wake. Had they recorded more than this one album, they certainly would be more recognized for their contributions. As it stands, These Are Not Fall Colors remains a cult fave. Very few people who have ever heard the album decided that they didn't like it.

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