"Frail and Poker Faced EP"

(Self-Released 2003)Hinkley - Frail and Poker Faced EP

Shock rock has been all the rage for decades now. Pop stars take off their clothes in an attempt to pocket your dollars while rockers throw tantrums to further their reputation. Rochester, New York's Hinkley are not opting for those techniques. The six piece band has combined folk, country and indie rock for a gentle alternative to art rock or traditional country.

The EP's opening track, "Superman," floats on a cloud, the light melody pulling you in as drums crash and bass thumps in the background for a full instrumental sound. "I bought a pound of pain," vocalist and guitarist Will Veeder sings gently on the smooth folk feeling "Cocaine." The EP's title track plods by as its melody rises up through the instrumentation. Clean cut guitar riffs drive the infectious "The Queen of May." Hinkley go retro on the upbeat, feel good track "Lonesome Whistle," despite the vocals being mixed into the music so as to make them sound muted and distant.

What is not to like about smooth, blended harmonies that instantly leave you feeling good? Hinkley put familiar pieces together to form the puzzle in a new way. "Frail and Poker Faced EP" is smart and delivers Hinkley's likable music without making you sick of their bright and catchy melodies.