Bio (condensed from Facebook.com/sinicle):
Somewhere between Rock and Roll and Heavy Metal there is a grey area where Sinicle can be found. Currently residing in Hollywood and originally from Reno, NV, Sinicle has been spreading their music for seven years. The boys are currently recording their EP with producer Bob Kulick (KISS, Motorhead, Meat Loaf, etc.) playing venues in California and Nevada and gaining online presence via social networks and online radio. They recently released a zombie themed music video for their single Obliterate. Formed in a small basement in Reno, NV during 2005. They rapidly grew their fan base by throwing shows every weekend in their basement and releasing their 2007 demo CD. In 2008 they relocated to Hollywood, CA to attend the Musicians Institute and further develop their scene by releasing self produced EP entitled Birth, Death and Beyond and playing venues such as The Whisky a go-go, The Reno Knitting Factory (cap 1200) and gaining a residency at The Rainbow Bar.
Drew Zaragoza (Guitar and Vocals), Justin Miller (Bass and Vocals), James Gepner (Drums, Percussion, and Vocals)
Drew from Sinicle contacted me to review the music video they created for their track OBLITERATE, and it sounded like a great fit for Ryan’s Reviews. Drew says: “We are starving musicians with no money and we recently shot a Zombie themed music video on no budget. We recorded the song through Audio Engineer student peers at Musicians Institute. We Filmed it through a Musicians Institute Film department student. We got make up artist from MUD, a makeup school in Burbank through networking.” Zombies? No budget? Made via networking? Perfect. If you read these things I put up here, you would know that a.) I’m all about DIY, no-budget, made with heart not money projects, b.) I like zombies, and c.) I’m a big fan of heavy music too. So let’s get into this.
Sinicle is a Hollywood via Reno based metal trio, and upon listening to OBLITERATE my thoughts immediately harken back to 1988-1992. The guitar intro makes me think of Megadeth or Iron Maiden, and once the vocals kick in, the mood shifts into full-on Pantera territory. This track would have fit very nicely on the soundtrack to DEMON KNIGHT, alongside “Cemetary Gates” and “Diadems” (and if you read this blog a lot, I know I’ve talked about that CD before, but for me it really defined my entry into metal, so it has a special place in my heart). Sinicle has a very retro-metal feel, evoking the days before the whole nü-metal craze got shoved into the mainstream on the backs of people like Fred Durst. Back when you actually had to know how to put together scales and arpeggios to write a metal song, not just a few detuned power chords; to be fair, Wes Borland is a talented guitarist, and I do not hold Limp Bizkit’s crappiness against him, we all have to eat.
Zaragoza’s guitar work is more than aptly backed up by the one-two percussive punch of Miller and Gepner. The bass doesn’t really stand out, but if you look at most metal bands, it was never really meant to. It’s there to back up the thundering power of the drums, and Miller does that quite well. And again, since this is more “classic” metal, there is a lot more going on with the bass than a lot of newer bands put into it, there are progressions and scales, and, well, work being put it. Gepner’s drumming powers the track along, pushing forth the zombie hoard with precision. Obviously all of the members of Sinicle are talented musicians in their own rights, but as this is metal, it is the guitar that is forefront and shining.
The video is a fun little mash-up. You have Sinicle on stage in a small performance area, with a decent amount of fans head-banging along with them. Outside, the zombies are obviously being drawn by the music (‘cause metal is evil, didn’t you know?), munching on anyone caught in their path. I especially enjoyed the fact that a good portion of the zombies are wearing t-shirts of bygone metal bands. The song is high-paced, so the choice of the newer style “runner” zombies, versus the old Romeo-esque “shamblers,” was a good fit. If the zombies were slowly shuffling, it would be an odd juxtaposition with the up-tempo metal pouring out of the speakers. Eventually the hoard finds the source of the music that is drawing them, and burst into the performance space, devouring the evil that has called them. I especially loved the fact that, even while being eaten on stage, Zaragoza continues to finish his outro solo. The metal must go on.
Production wise, this is a really well made video for being done on no-budget. The video is crisp 1080p, and looks really nice on YouTube. The lighting inside the space is good; it looks like lights you’d see at a show, without sacrificing being able to see the band members clearly. Outside natural light is used, and it comes out very “blue.” This may be a stylistic choice, as the lighting inside is a much more orange/red hue, or this may be because the white balance was off; the shots outside could benefit from a bit better light/balance. The sound was great; this makes sense, as I’m sure it is from a studio recording, not from the live performance you see in the video. The zombie makeup is restrained; there’s no face-half-missing zombie, or eye-hanging-out zombie, but they are all menacing in the flashes you get of them, and when they tear into an innocent bystander (but really, who’s innocent in L.A.?), the requisite gut-chomping is nicely done.
Overall this is a fun video. Fans of old-school metal will greatly enjoy the music, and fans of new-school zombie flicks will enjoy the video. The only real disparity is the fact that most the people I know that like this sort of metal also like the old-school zombies, and might be a bit turned-off by the inclusion of runners, but as I said before, the shambling zombie would be much more out of place with the music. OBLITERATE is a great example of what some talented people can do when they collaborate with some other talented people and have access to some decent equipment. It doesn’t take money, it takes talent, work, and the drive to make something great; OBLITERATE proves it.
Overall 8 / 10
OBLITERATE for free: http://sinicle.bandcamp.com/
OBLITERATE site: http://www.facebook.com/Sinicle