Self Defense Family - Sincerely (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Self Defense Family

Sincerely (2006)


End of a Year establish economical expressions of early emo on Sincerely (their name is an Embrace song title after all, which they admit right out in the liner notes). The songs, while taking influence from Rites of Spring (a comparison the band will refute but consistently garner) and early Braid (especially in the vocalist's very young Bob Nanna-like strain [notably, "Darnel" and "You Better Work"]), manage to be simultaneously straight-forward and jumpy, a juxtaposition that helps give the record its intrigue.

It's obvious from the get-go of the 11-song, 28-minute Sincerely that the band is not beating around the bush. The grinding, twisting and overall moving beginning of the disc in "The Browns" find the vocalist immediately yelling "Lonesome no more!" Like here, there isn't a whole lot of noodliness on the album, just usually raw, vocally-propelled mid-tempo romps that know when to end, even while occasionally giving off some unique guitar squalls here and there.

Sincerely is definitely a record largely by and for music nerds, especially as evidenced by recommendations after the lyrics of every song in the liner notes (sample recs: Vonnegut, 108, Botch, Jawbreaker, Lungfish). In that sense its reach is rather limited, but everyone within that grasp is likely to be pulled in easy.