CINCH, THE: Self-titled: CDEP

I am hacking out a special wing of my brain to house data regarding a seemingly newly emerging subgenre as we speak: I dunno what i call it yet, but The Cinch (from Vancouver?), the Rotten Apples (from Seattle), and the Lovelies (from Milwaukee) are in it, and inclusion seems to mandate an almost-continually midtempo pace, slightly breathy female lead and backing vocals, disillusionment with failed relationships as the only allowable lyrical subject matter, and musical genetic coding apparently evolved from both ‘90s 120 Minutes era alt-rock bands and pert ‘80s girl groups such as the Go-Go’s, without ever actually sounding like anything either slightly truly Go-Go-esque or adamant about publicly attempting to push its ROCKING-ness (in the most ROCK sense of the term) as being crucial to the end result. The Rock is insistent, yet the songs are clearly not designed to blow up white mice in the Rock-O-Meter™. The songs (the “hits,” anyway) have a blatantly well-crafted form to them, yet are never cute or overly poppy (e.g., the “hit” here – “Once a Week” [money shot line: “I’ve been waiting for you for a while / I’ve been staring at those pretty tiles”] – utilizes both maracas and tambourine in the ongoing textural structure of the song, not as mere bells and whistles and/or ear candy); end result (for entire subgenre) leaving me, Al Franken, with the sensation that these songs are deserving light-rotation phantom MTV demi-hits from a bygone (maybe?) era which may or may not have ever existed to begin with. MTV-rock as Pop? Alt-pop as Rock? Would i understand this better if i just broke down and got cable? My major grievance with this whole newly-minted and as-yet-unnamed subgenre is that the “hits,” as they were, in their stern-jawed mission to be neither “cute” nor overly “poppy,” yet “hits” nonetheless, lack sufficient spectacularness-above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty to float the more rank-and-file (note: not the band) numbers in their wake (by contrast, Elastica’s big smasheroo [to me], “Stutter,” was so overwhelmingly genius that the rest of their material more or less had to do nothing but mop up after it), although most of the material herein is admirably well done and crafted. That said, in case you’re wondering how they made out on the Modern Lovers cover, it doesn’t really put over the depth and texture of the original, but does achieve a nice, thin, trebly, Saints-first-album character by song’s end. Further, the (female) vocalist’s non-switching of the song’s gender is, apparently by some heretofore undocumented law of physics, counter-balanced by her juxtaposing the words “shit” and “garbage” in the classic line “She / eat garbage / eat shit / get stoned.” Rock & roll is a beautiful thing. BEST SONG: “Once a Week” BEST SONG TITLE: “French Maid,” mais naturellement! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The band’s website is given as “www.thecinchrocks.com.” Memo to bands who find that “www.bandname.com” is taken: Going with “www.bandnamerocks.com” is fucking GAY with a capital A. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT WAITING TO HAPPEN: One of the guitar players is named Mark Epp. Might he possibly be related to the guy from Mr. Epp & The Calculations??? (“Mohawk Man” was their big hit)

 –norb (Dirtnap)