4 out of 5
Label: K Records
Produced by: Pat Maley, Phil Ek, Tim Green
Combining clean-toned indie rock with some punk edge, Lync was Sam Jayne’s pre-LAL band in which he (along with James Bertram on bass and Dave Schneider on drums) got to work out some of those pop-rock composition skills, through the lens of K Records roughness. …And that’s often a brilliant thing, a raw capture of Jayne’s approach of catchy riffs and an emotive undertone where the relative inexperience of youth makes the record promising and exciting and not limiting. Lync is a different beast from Love as Laughter for that reason; not something you listen to just because you’re an LAL fan, but because it’s a totally different flavor of music, with some detectable shared core elements.
Remembering the Fireballs collects some 7″ material and non-album tracks from the group’s sole official release, relatively sequenced chronologically. This gives the compilation a nice cohesion, going from comparatively heavier, harsher works to indie rock. Recording quality varies, as well, but it was all remixed up to a very listenable quality, with percussion and guitar prioritized to the music’s benefit. Jayne’s lyrics, even at this early stage, are a pleasing mix of cryptic youth anthems and imagery; again, nothing that outright screams amateur efforts – this stuff still works.
That said, a few tracks lack the sparkle of ingenuity, trying too hard to be angular / post-hardcore (Pathetic) or drifting into muddled indie rock (Pennies to Save), but the amount of hits outside of these slight misses makes that easy to forgive, not to mention being incredibly impressive for a grab-bag of singles and extras.