Review: Unknown Component – In Direct Communication

Unknown Component is a one-man band effort written, produced and performed by Iowa resident Keith Lynch. Over the past few years I have reviewed four of his albums and witnessed a consistent run of downbeat but always tuneful set of songs. ‘In Direct Communications’ maintains the slightly happier outlook indicated on his previous release ‘Separately Connected’.


For those new to Lynch’s music the first thing to be noticed is undoubtedly his gruff vocals, which sneer through each song like a particularly petulant adult. That said, his songwriting is almost always worth hearing. ‘Retrospectively Speaking’ and ‘Never Ceases To Remain Unchanged’ possess easy charm and melody a-plenty. ‘It’s A Fine Line’ boasts a rousing, edgy chorus. The reflective ‘Between Guilt And Relief’ is built around a simple but hypnotic keyboard riff whilst ‘Somewhere A Light Has Gone Out’ is almost classical in arrangement.

Throughout Lynch cuts a disconsolate figure but one with a twinkle in his eye as every apparently bleak tale is delivered with warmth and wit. The net result is that ‘In Direct Communication’ is another fine demonstration of the talent of a truly independent artist.

Web Sites:
Unknown Component Official Site
Unknown Component MySpace

Further Listening:
Bob Dylan, The Walkmen, Eels


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