Sinkcharmer Stars In Winter

Mention the word "collective” and most music fans think of those Elephant 6 freaks. But Boston’s Handstand Command seem to be challenging them in the sheer number of bands they represent. The collective’s main project is the Operators, but there are at least another half-dozen bands and side-projects out there, including Sinkcharmer. Sinkcharmer is the solo project of the Operators’ Paul Coleman, although he also recruits many other Collective members to help out. While the band obviously has lots of good ideas, that alone doesn’t always make for a cohesive album where every song works. And Stars In Winter, their third album, demonstrates that beautifully. While the Operators are honest-to-goodness indie rock, Sinkcharmer’s songs are like lo-fi sketches of abandoned country farms in the barren winter months. They use banjos and accordions to add colour to the monochrome, with moments that sound a little like early Sparklehorse. Stars In Winter does have a certain ramshackle charm that might hold your attention for the album’s duration, but Sinkcharmer needs to get a better concept of what quality control is before their next outing. (Unstoppable)