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The Infinite Definitive


Unknown Component

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Somehow, inexplicably, EvilSponge has become popular with Iowa musicians. Well, i don't know if popular is the right word, but we seem to get offered a lot of downloads from artists from Iowa, a fact which surprises me because i have never been to that state, and know little about it except that they have lots of corn. I mention this because Unknown Component is the project of Keith Lynch, a busybody musician from Iowa City, who has self-recorded over 100 songs in the past 8 years. That is, quite frankly, a lot of material.

The Infinite Definitive is his seventh (!) self-released record, and it is a ten-song collection of catchy, dense, alternative rock. That is, Mr. Lynch makes music that reminds me of the type of thing that i hear when i actually turn on the radio. I have to confess that with my busy promo-listening schedule, i rarely have the time to just listen to the radio anymore, but what i hear on this CD strikes me as being similar to what i hear when i do so. Meaning that i think that Unknown Component are very contemporary sounding. Anyone more in keeping with the times is completely free to tell me that i am full of shit....

Anyway, Mr. Lynch makes dense music. There is a lot going on in each song. I hear layers of guitar, keyboards in the background, flat drumming, and, of course, his voice. Lynch's voice is the center point of every song on this record. It is in front and layered over every other instrument. It is whiny, but he does a good job with it. In a way, he reminds me of Kurt Cobain. He has that kind of whiny vocal, with a lot of expressiveness and drawn out singing. Now, i know that i just said that his music is "contemporary" and then i compared him to an artist who has been dead for sixteen years. I wonder if my definition of "contemporary" is that outdated!

Lynch is at his most Cobainish on The Experience of Understanding and Electric Dissolution, both of which are slow, piano-based tunes. On the other hand, his voice sounds completely different on Every Measure and Space, i suppose because he is speaking, not singing here. When he is not drawing his notes out on this song, the overall effect makes me think of The Final Cut, which is a really good comparison in my book. More like this, please.

Lynch's general framework is rock music, but he does manage to get really pop at time. Specifically, the chorus of Collections of the State features Lynch channeling McCartney over some syncopated guitar. On the other hand, The Introduction Is Arriving features one layer of guitar that would not be out of place on a Purrs record contrasted with another that seems lost from Wire's Object 47. This song has a catchy beat, and Lynch speaks the lyrics at a nice, fast pace to good effect.

Overall, this is pleasant, radio-friendly, alternative rock. It might be contemporary sounding, or perhaps it is reminiscent of the mid 90s. Whatever. I do feel that i have to applaud Mr. Lynch for his work ethic.

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