The Zincs: Black Pompadour


James Elkington could sing a death notice and still garner applause. His voice is strong yet warm, and eloquent. Black Pompadour, the third album from Chicago’s The Zinc’s, finds Elkington delivering gloomy verse with a quaint, endearing touch. “Some rays of daylight could irradiate this tomb, once seen with twice sight, you could be absent from your doom, but you’re hamstrung and juvenile,” he sings above a marching lounge groove on “Hamstrung and Juvenile,” the accompaniment flowing into a horn-laden chorus filled with ironic resolve. The hook of “The Mogul’s Wife” would make Morrissey bat his eyes, and the “The Rich Libertines” balances cycling guitars with images of a last breath “as the barnacles suck on your eyes.” This is the magic of The Zincs, deliverers of emotive pleasantry and indie soul, and Black Pompadour is a regal addition; a bouquet of pain and of promise delivered by a spurned lover. Bittersweet magic, it is.

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