No Time To Cry

April 2006

Lose The Faith - Simon Hinkler

(2005 Correctitude Records; CD album)
It was very silent for a long time around the former The Mission guitarist Simon Hinkler. Around the year 2000 there were rumours he had appeared as a guest musician in some Mission shows in the USA but that was about everything. At least I thought. According to his homepage he has been involved in Flight Commander and Mindfeel and even released some albums.
This year however he released his solo album on which he has been reportedly working for a long time. And worth it is. It is just available via his homepage. Liner notes indicate that is was performed and produced exclusively by Simon himself with help on the female backing vocals.
The album introduces itself with a Mission-like guitar feedback leading into an arrangement of clean and distorted guitars. Then Effigy sets of with the vocals. I must say I am surprised how well this all works out. Simons voice is blending perfectly. It even distantly reminds me of Wayne (Hussey’s) voice. Same goes for the musical arrangement. Effigy is a rocky piece and a brilliant starter for an album. The topic of religion and beliefs are the prominent theme throughout the record. Simon manages to elaborate his personal views in a direct and radical way as he sings „I saw half a dozen workers - They were pulling down a catholic church - I said, man, do you need a hand - With this important work? - I guess the place was a hundred years old - Seems like it’s always been here - And as the steeple fell to the ground - I knew this was a good idea“.
Drop in the Ocean and Still Waiting are certainly less aggressive and direct than the first song but continue a pleasant similarity to some older Mission stuff. This resemblance weakens with the up-paced Diceman. a straight forward rock piece. The next two tracks pass without much surprise but pleasant to listen. New Jersey Train almost has a bit of country feeling. The more quiet songs continue with Stranger in which the guitars again pick up the Mission-like arrangements. When the accordeon sets in there is almost a glimpse of the Levellers. A strange but very interesting piece of music.
Speed increases with the intro of Breathing My Air which leads into a more bluesey direction than anything I hears from Simon before. The rhythm guitars almost remind of Joe Satriani’s Flying in a Blue Dream while being naturally less complicated and not quite „guitar gunslinger“ stuff. Suddenly I am set back and have to listen for some reason intensively with the next track, Nothing Left to Lose. The refrain guitars are very catchy and pointy. The End Starts Here takes out the pace again and brings in the feel of the end. The record is finished off with the accoustic guitar variations of Peace.
Wow, I am impressed. I was curious when I got the album but honestly I did not expect much. Especially after the Gary Marx disappointment. But here about everything fits together. The production is excellent and the songs are good. It is not innovative, true, and also not dancefloor stuff but Simon knows how to write songs still. Overall, there is a strong vibe of The Mission in the air when I play this CD. Now I begin to see what Simon really stood for in The Mission and also see the change they underwent after the Carved in Sand album. Lose the Faith might be the title of the thing but I certainly did not lose it. Not in Simon. Au contraire, thumbs up for Simon.

Excellent work.
Rating: 5 out of 5

2.Drop In The Ocean
3.Still Waiting
5.One Man Show
6.North Jersey Train
8.Breathing My Air
9.Nothing Left To Lose
10.The End Starts Here