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The Long Slow Ultra Splendid Life of The Sinclairs Alan Rider rates the new LP from Rat Scabies and Billy Shinbone - The Sinclairs

The Long Slow Ultra Splendid Life of The Sinclairs

Alan Rider rates the new LP from Rat Scabies and Billy Shinbone - The Sinclairs

by Alan Rider, Contributing Editor
first published: July, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

A welcome blast of technicolour kitsch in an otherwise drab and monochrome musical landscape.

Sinclairs Cover ArtTHE SINCLAIRS
The Long Slow Death Of A Cigarette
(Cleopatra Records)
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The Sinclairs, for those that don't know, are original Damned drummer and Grail hunter Rat Scabies, and Flipron/Neville Staple Band guitarist Billy Shinbone. Having popped out a psychedelic tinged set of gurgly electronic soundtracks on their 2020 debut album 'Sparkle', they are back for more with their second, 'The Long Slow Death Of A Cigarette', so named because "each track is like a deep, smokey draw that burns off the one that comes before it and what you’re left with at the end is a funeral" - hopefully not literally. 

What you do get rather than lung cancer is a set of 60's sounding psyche/surf/garage rock, featuring a star studded list of guest vocalists: Zumi Rosow of Black Lips, Kid Congo Powers of The Cramps/Gun Club/The Bad Seeds, Roger Chapman of ‘60s band Family, and members of Japanese garage punksters The 5,6,7,8’s and even British actor Kevin Eldon (Hot Fuzz/Game Of Thrones) who also plays a drunk in the video for single 'Ultra Splendid'.  It's all highly accomplished, full of life and bounce, and a million miles from the Rebellion Festival heritage punk acts we all roll our eyes at.  That Cramps connection is a good clue also to the vibe The Sinclairs are aiming for here.  It's a heady mix, with Bossa Nova rhythms doing battle with twangy and echoey surf guitar and space rock synths. 

Given Rat's history and interest in Grail hunting, I am guessing their name comes from the St Clair family who are Scottish aristocrats linked to Templars, Rosslyn Chapel, and maybe even The Holy Grail. That's something we could always ask if we can pin this pair down for a chat.  In the meantime, 'The Long Slow Death Of A Cigarette' is a welcome blast of technicolour kitsch in an otherwise drab and monochrome musical landscape.

Out on 28 July on Cleopatra Records

Alan Rider
Contributing Editor

Alan Rider is a Norfolk based writer and electronic musician from Coventry, who splits his time between excavating his own musical past and feeding his growing band of hedgehogs, usually ending up combining the two. Alan also performs in Dark Electronic act Senestra and manages the indie label Adventures in Reality.


about Alan Rider »»

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