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SINCEROS (Buy CDs by this artist)
The Sound of Sunbathing (Columbia) 1979
Pet Rock (Columbia) 1981

Having played together (under a different name) in the mid-'70s, the Sinceros' first break was that the group's rhythm half backed Lene Lovich on Stateless and toured with her; they carried some of her bizarritude back with them onto The Sound of Sunbathing. Basically a vehicle for guitarist/singer Mark Kjeldsen, the band's other historical claim is that Sinceros keyboardist (and ex-Vibrator) Don Snow replaced Paul Carrack in Squeeze.

The debut LP has two great tracks — a quirky bit of silliness called "Take Me to Your Leader" and a Joe Jackson soundalike, "Little White Lie." Otherwise, it's an amiable pop record with little character. The even lower-key Pet Rock, produced by Gus Dudgeon, removes any trace of oddness and fails to deliver the cleverness that would have redeemed it. ("Memory Lane," however, does transcend the album.)

[Ira Robbins]