Feelings of angst have had a home in rock music since the first power chord was formulated. Since then, rock has evolved into different iterations and sub-genres, yet this theme has always found itself within the circle of relevance. Seattle trio Dude York uses this familiar theme, among others, to produce a well-crafted album that is enthusiastic, intriguing and, above all, relatable on its sophomore album, Sincerely.
The members in Dude York don’t shy away from showing their age and use it to great advantage. The trio uses Sincerely as an avenue to highlight its honesty. The opening track, “Black Jack,” starts the album off with a bang. The band uses a background of energetic guitar chords to carry an empowering message. Lyrics like “Still believe in myself/ My friends, my only wealth/ As far as I can tell/ Nobody does it all by themselves” paint a picture of someone who is struggling with mental health recognizing that he can lean on his friends when necessary. This is an engaging and identifiable issue for the average millennial.
“A Bit Saloon” is another highlight; an eclectic mix of everything Dude York does well on the album. The aesthetic here evokes feelings of youthful carelessness, just like Joyce Manor.
Most of the writing on the album makes for great sing-along sessions, but there are a few tracks, like “Time’s Not on My Side,” where the band suffers from a lack of self-awareness. The song does feel genuinely intimate and heartfelt and works well enough as the album’s sign-off, but its tone dangerously approaches sounding pretentious. On “Tonight,” mid-chorus chanting also make for a repetitive and dull distraction.
Sincerely is unapologetically full of youth. Despite sometimes taking itself a bit too seriously, the lively and often distorted instrumentals, combined with empathetic themes, make for an album that gives listeners a wonderful shot of unexpected nostalgia.
Follow reporter Hector Aguilar at Twitter.com/HectorJ_Aguilar.