3 out of 5
Label: Spun Out of Control
Produced by: Alan Sinclair
Produced during the 2020 COVID quarantines, Alan Sinclair’s – aka Repeated Viewing – The Family carries with it the artist’s usual horror / giallo trappings of 80s synths and a serial-killer-stalking beat, but it’s also a very streamlined genre affair, a “comfort food” release that maybe was influenced by needing some familiarity during rather strange times. Sinclair tempers his darker moods with some more modern pacings and effects; a later chase sequence could even pass for a current electro track. This is in support of a softer vibe overall, in part supporting the love story angle of The Family’s narrative – doomed lovers amidst vicious biker gangs – but also feeling like a top-down tonal direction, whether purposeful or an effect of not wanting to perpetuate the isolation of our then-reality.
It’s a plus / minus – The Family is instantly accessible, and veers slightly away from some typical darkwave tendencies that might make Sinclair’s work more desirable to a larger audience; at the same time, it doesn’t have much to necessarily differentiate itself from others working in a similar vein. However, I get the need for some “coloring in the lines” stuff of this variety, as it can be nice to have such familiarities in one’s collection (and acts as a way for Sinclair to keep exercising their creative muscles), and there’s definitely some spots here and there on the album where the music zigs instead of zagging, the album sort of coming alive along the way as it heads into its more thematic concluding tracks.