End of a Year – Sincerely (CD)

End of a Year plays a brand of emo music that is hardened by the inclusion of a number of hardcore bands as influences for the band. This means that the band is much more close to acts like Dag Nasty than to the All-American Rejects. The vocals on tracks like “Timeshares” should remind individuals of a very young Ian MacKaye, tinged with a hint of Jello Biafra for good music. This is to say that End of a Year is already in very good company, even as the band goes through the first few tracks on “Sincerely”. End of a Year’s tracks rarely go over the two and a half minute mark, but that is all that they need to create tracks that are for the ages instead of for about two months while the album rises up the charts and ultimately falls into nothingness.

End of a Year come up with arrangements during songs like “Beleaders” that would be perfect on any eighties Dischord album, but the emotive content of the lyrics goes beyond that simple time tag and into salience for all the current record-buying kids. The fast that the band works together like a well-oiled machine throughout “Sincerely” is another check in their book; there are only a few points on this album where the drums, bass, vocals, and guitars do not seem to be completely in sync. The range that End of a Year has in what would normally be a straitjacket (in regards to the genre of music that they find themselves) shows that the band are not dopes; anything that they can do to make tracks like “Darnel” interesting, they do just that.

Emotive, instrumental interludes; check! The disc has more than just good songs on it; “Sincerely” is the type of disc, like Fugazi’s “Twelve Songs”, that can be played repeatedly. The band is really in the wrong time period; put them in 1986, and they would be legends by now. However, the band should still be considered for legendhood; the fact that each of the tracks on “Sincerely” are instant classics should lift them to that plateau. Seriously, End of a Year – do not break up, do not pass go, and just cut another two or three albums in the next year so that all of your fans can be sated. This is music that transcends time or place, and End of a Year has to know that fact by the time that they wrapped up “Sincerely”.

Top Tracks: Bad Land Deals, Beleaders

Rating: 8.1/10

End of a Year – Sincerely / 2006 Revelation / 11 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/endofayear / http://www.revhq.com / Reviewed 19 July 2006

[JMcQ]

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