Comprised of Alexei Wrassky and Jack Gribben, Sinkara is a fresh, young duo hailing from New Zealand whose new EP Temperament is the convergent project and result of the last five years of composing, recording and polishing. Based around an acoustic-infused rock style, Temperament explores the human experience, backing off from neither its complexity nor its downfalls.
The record starts with “Around the Bend,” as avant-garde guitar chords blend, often with dissonance with harmony-laced vocals. The lone guitar is joined by a solid bass line just before the repetitive guitar riff is replaced by skillful, mournful solos and percussion that drives the song to its end. A seamless transition then introduces “Blue Wait” a more upbeat rock track that incorporates acoustic and electric guitars. The minor aura persists as the tune’s vocals continue to pour out emotion and refreshingly poetic lyrics.
“Chains,” the longest song on the record, also contains the most catchy intro the album has to offer. Fast, staccato guitar notes throughout the repeated intro set up a pleasant contrast with the droning vocals and held-out notes present in the rest of the song. The album’s bleak atmosphere continues in “Skinning,” an unhurried ballad that feels almost like a breath of air that the band takes before diving right back into the last two tracks.
Sinkara releases its raw talent in guitar shredding in “Remedies” when, towards the end of the song, a lightning-paced guitar solo takes over and with a burst of energy lifts the already up-tempo song to a higher level of vitality. The slight dissonance that permeates this record finds a new expression in the last track on the EP “Tar Black Days.” The vocals and instruments come together one final time in a slightly jazzy, experimental manner that somehow still finds a home among blaring rock guitars and pounding percussion.
Overall, it is this ability of juxtaposing seemingly incompatible elements in a new and enjoyable way that makes Sinkara’s Temperament a very interesting listen, and one that appeals to mass and niche audiences alike.
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