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Articles Home » 2001 Articles » Uptown Sinclair - 2001 8 Songs
Uptown Sinclair - 2001 8 Songs

Dave Hills - vocals, guitars
Tim Parnin - guitars
Bill Watterson - bass
Rob Pfeiffer - drums

For a band with songs as fresh, diverse and catchy as Uptown Sinclair, categorising their music is about as pointless as using a chocolate fireguard. The fact is, '8 Songs' is an independent masterpiece that somehow manages to weld irresistible pop melodies, loud guitars and quirky lyrics to create a sound that defies being pigeonholed. The Cleveland quartet has something of an interesting biography, with former bands of various members including Sons Of Elvis, Cobra Verde, and Vanduls Ugainst Alliderasy, but it looks like this line up, led by vocalist Dave Hills, is one that needs to stick together for a long time. So obvious is Uptown Sinclair's collective talent that noted producer Mr. Colson (Smashing Pumpkins, The Urge) offered to produce a few of their tunes after hearing the band's demo tape.

The Songs
The fruits of those labours is '8 Songs', and opening track 'Face Down' is a funky, almost Red Hot Chilli Peppers type tune that rocks hard, but still retains tons of melody, while next track 'Girlfriend' offers something completely different, with a very poppy guitar-led romp that recalls Weezer. Just when you think you have Uptown Sinclair's sound nailed, along comes 'Intermediate' which sounds like a cross between Ben Folds Five and the modern leanings of Third Eye Blind, and is a tune that could really put commercial success well within the band's sights. Likewise, the hummable 'Whatever You Need' is one of the most memorable pop-rock songs I have heard this year with a chorus so catchy it is contagious. The pace slows down a little on the glorious 'First Thing In The Morning', which showcases Hill's ability to pen original, interesting lyrics, before 'Landslide' turns the guitars up again behind a laid back chorus and energetic verse. 'Superman' has a kind of Barenaked Ladies vibe to it with an acoustic backbone and a cool organ-led chorus, that suddenly launches into a guitar riff Lemmy would be proud of. Eclectic just doesn't cover it! Finally, the closest thing Uptown Sinclair have written to a ballad, 'Never Miss A Thing', closes things out, but instead of descending into cliches or sentimentalism, it remains incredibly edgy with a real Radiohead feel to it.

In Summary
Put simply, Uptown Sinclair have the songs, confidence and talent to break through commercially and I will be amazed if A&R reps don't pick up on the chart potential of tracks like 'Intermediate', 'Superman' and 'Whatever You Need'. However, in an industry too busy finding the next Limp Bizkit clone or latest girl/boy band combo, I doubt there is a record company out there with the intelligence to know what to do with a band that they couldn't pin down in one media-friendly buzzword or genre. Don't you make the same mistake.


Track Listing:
01 Face Down
02 Girlfriend
03 Intermediate
04 Sentimental
05 First Thing In The Morning
06 Whatever U Want
07 Landslide
08 Superman
09 Never Miss A Thing

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