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Review: 'Hinkler, Simon'
'Moving On (EP)'   

-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '7th September 2018'

Our Rating:
The Mission were my first real introduction to ‘goth’ and ‘alternative’ music. The first proper band I saw live. And the band that would ultimately lead me to begin collecting records and exploring avenues way outside the charts. Not that the charts in the mid 80s wasn’t frequented by loads of non-mainstream acts – Killing Joke, The Jesus and Mary Chain, even Fields of the Nephilim could be heard on Radio 1’s Top 40 on a Sunday then – but it was The Mission who grabbed me first when I was around 13.

Simon Hinkler’s guitar playing was integral to The Mission on their first four albums and subsequently, having returned on their 25th anniversary) (and his work with Artery, his time with Pulp and his work as The Flight Commander shouldn’t be overlooked, either). With The Mission currently on a break from touring, it’s presented a suitable window for him to unveil a new solo EP.

The five tracks show an impressive range, with each song being very different stylistically. Opener ‘It Isn’t You’ is pure Mission and mines the vintage goth template of spindly, chorus-heavy guitar work, nagging motifs and endless hammer-ons interweaving over a strolling bass. It’s strong enough, and shows that Hinkler’s both a better lyricist and singer than Wayne Hussey, but sets the expectation for a set of more of the same. The fact that there’s nothing remotely in the same field subsequently is testament to both his creative capacity and confidence: by no means does he play to type here.

‘Virginia’ is intimate and low-key, with echoes of Leonard Cohen circa ‘Songs from a Room’ and Nick Drake, while the jaunty oompah of ‘Friends’ sits between The Kinks and the lighter end of Love Spit Love. ‘What More Do We Know?’ finds Hinkler come on all lighter-waving stadium-rock anthem, but with a dash of Bowie. Or maybe it’s more Iggy produced by Bowie. Either way, he actually pulls it off.

The piano-led title track closes the curtain in sparse, elegiac style, and finds Hinkler in reflective mode. And it brings home that it’s not just the stylistic range that’s significant here but the range of moods presented over the course of just 5 songs. It’s a rounded, well-crafted effort – and quite a grower, too.
  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Hinkler, Simon - Moving On (EP)