Lync are unsung legends of the Washington rock scene. Formed in Olympia at the onset of the grunge era, the band put out music on storied imprints including, K Records, Candy-Ass, and Troubleman Unlimited, before fading into obscurity. This Friday (10/20), Suicide Squeeze will reissue Lync’s sole LP, These Are Not Fall Colors. Today, the band also share the album’s final single “Cue Cards.” The song opens with a wiry riff, before a loose, half-time groove pushes things into gritty terrain. “You just learned to swim,” late member Sam Jayne belts over a sludgy instrumental. For a band whose members would go on to collaborate with Built to Spill and Jeremiah Green (Modest Mouse), “Cue Cards” feels deeply indebted to the ‘90s heyday of D.C. hardcore.
Lync will be hosting a free listening party on Bandcamp on Wednesday, 10/18 at 6pm PST / 9pm EST to celebrate the release of the deluxe version of These Are Not Fall Colors. Come along and listen to the album with James Bertram (bass, vocals) and chat about the making of the record.
When the grunge explosion of the early ‘90s elevated Seattle’s flannel-clad misfits out of the divey clubs of downtown and into the mainstream, a new generation of restless artists filled the void left in the Pacific Northwest’s underground music scene. The under-21 crowd making music in the wake of Nevermind seemed even less enamored with the slick production values, classic rock nods, and testosterone-fueled moshing culture that came with the Zeitgeist, favoring their own kind of Revolution Summer-style pivot away from the popular sounds of the era towards a more emotionally nuanced, melodic, and inclusive style of punk. The Puget Sound trio Lync perfectly captured the spirit of that era, blending the passionate chaos of the DC and San Diego scenes with the rough-hewn DIY pop sensibilities of Olympia’s thriving indie community into one unified sound. Though they were only a band for two years, they helped define the next era of the Northwest underground, inspiring countless other artists and instigating the creation of beloved records from the region. After being out of print for over a decade, the band’s sole LP These Are Not Fall Colors has been remastered and expanded into a 2xLP with the inclusion of “Can’t Tie Yet”—a compilation track from the album’s recording session—into a deluxe edition available courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records.
2. Perfect Shot
3. Silverspoon Glasses
4. Pennies to Save
5. Clay Fighter
6. Cue Cards
7. Angelfood Fodder & Vitamins
8. Heroes & Heroines
10. Uberrima Fides
11. Can't Tie Yet
Originally released on K Records in the summer of ’94 just a few months before the band called it quits, These Are Not Fall Colors is a boisterous collection of scrappy basement-show anthems played on duct-taped-together gear. Led by the off-kilter melodies of late singer/guitarist Sam Jayne and hammered into place by the driving bass of James Bertram and drum battery of David Schneider, the album’s eleven songs channel that undefinable sound of the early ‘90s before descriptors like “post-hardcore” and “emo” became pejorative terms. Sure, you get a sense of the more sophisticated mid-tempo punk approach on songs like “B” and “Silverspoon Glasses,” and maybe catch wind of wistful songwriting on “Pennies to Save” and “Cue Cards,” but Lync seemed to cull their ideas from whatever bits of inspiration they could find in the gray gloom and geographic isolation of western Washington, absorbing it all and churning it together into a style uniquely their own.
Despite Lync’s short existence, modest aspirations, and DIY approach, their work had a ripple effect. Jayne and Bertram appeared on Beck’s One Foot in the Grave album. Jayne would go on to make music under the moniker of Love As Laughter. Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch was so enamored by the album that he enlisted Bertram and Schneider to serve as his rhythm section on the There’s Nothing Wrong with Love tour. These Are Not Fall Colors engineer Phil Ek would go on to help record and produce records by Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, and The Shins. Early bassist Isaac Brock and These Are Not Fall Colors album art contributor Jeremiah Green would go on to form Modest Mouse. Bertram and Green would also go on to form the revered indie rock group Red Stars Theory. At times it feels like you could pick any major Northwest indie rock group from the ‘90s and ‘00s and trace their DNA back to Lync.
The deluxe edition of These Are Not Fall Colors comes pressed on 180g vinyl and packaged in a gatefold cover with printed inner sleeves and expanded artwork by Jesse LeDoux. The 2xLP also features an 18x24 poster with extensive liner notes by Brian Cook. Altogether, this new version of These Are Not Fall Colors not only brings this celebrated classic back into analog libraries of old fans, it also provides new context and appreciation for Lync’s ongoing impact on both a local and international level.