While punk in the ‘70s certainly served a purpose in terms of both encapsulating and embodying the social and cultural zeitgeist of the time, musically it left more than a little to be desired. And even though there were bands such as The Clash in the UK or Bad Brains in the US pushing things forward stylistically, the initial DIY appeal of punk is also arguably what deterred its harshest critics.
Fast forward over forty years, and that’s not so much the case any longer, and Manchester’s Sinclair are a prime example of such. Taking the spirit of bands such as Stiff Little Fingers or Sham 69 before dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st century (and teaching it to properly play its instruments in the process).
“Sim Card Citizen” is the band’s second single and combines fire in the belly punk with a twist of true Mancunian indie. The result is three minutes of blistering post-punk that sheds the pretence and the claustrophobic weight of the genre in favour of something much more accessible and blue-collar.
Of course, accessible doesn’t always mean amateur, and despite harbouring a ramshackle approach to their riffs and solos, something which works hugely in the band’s favour, their lyricism is far sharper and more astute than one might otherwise believe. In the case of ‘Sim Card Citizen’ Sinclair take aim at the materialism rampant in society, and the ways in which we’re collectively pacified as a result. It’s a bold narrative, exploring an issue that’s becoming increasingly more prevalent across Western society without ever coming across as preachy.
Instead, Sinclair have managed to distill the essence and energy of punk rock while avoiding the pitfalls of pastiche. Bold, brash, and ultimately impossible to ignore, you can expect to hear a lot more from Sinclair over the next few months