Sing Sing 76

Raincoat Weather EP

Written by: TL on 18/06/2011 18:55:40

From a small band to a big band and back to a small band again. Sing Sing 76 are a quartet from South Carolina whose members are barely out of high school, who aim to play indie/rock inspired by "Andy Hull, Andy Jackson, The Avett Brothers, Nathan Hussey and Jimmy Eat World". In April they released their second EP "Raincoat Weather", which has found it way across the vastness of the internet, to land at for a review.

From the very beginning, opener "Here And The Balcony" spell out what can be expected from this record. That we're dealing with a grassroots level band is a certainty, given how the dry, fuzzy production sounds little more produced than a bedroom/garage type recording. The instrumentals sound like a 90's dormroom kind of emo/alternative, and at the centre of the music sits the voice of singer/guitarist Thomas Kleim. Kleim's singing is a similar type of breathy singer/songwriter style as some of you may know from the likes of Paper The Operator or Into It, Over It.

Compared to some of the influences the band lists, it's interesting to hear that their own material is noticeably slower and less energetic, at least here on "Raincoat Weather", where songs tend to float lazily through the air while Kleim does a commendable job of keeping the listener interested, with great articulation and occasionally catchy bits of lyrics. Apart from the opener, songs like "Best Day" and "Sleep" also provide hooks for the listener to recognise, and in general, the record is very friendly and easy to get into.

When that's been said though, I also feel like I must remark that I'm hard pressed to find much in terms of novelty or originality here, as focus seem 100% placed on catchy songs, rather than exploring ambitious musicianship. That needs not be a problem in theory, but it does put pressure on the performance and the songwriting. While "Raincoat Weather" shows promise for Sing Sing 76 in those departments, the record does appear a bit of a samey experience, partly because of the low-key production maybe. For a debut it's still fairly good, considering how easy it is to enjoy, and I consider it a good stepping stone for the band to get to the next level, where they can maybe produce their material a bit better, and succesfully create impressions that appear with extra staying power. As it is, they're as close as one can get to raising the following grade, without actually getting there.

Download: Here And The Balcony, Best Day, Sleep
For The Fans Of: Paper The Operator, Into It. Over It, Manchester Orchestra

Release Date 15.04.2011

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