As a small city with a handful of important indie labels and a tightly knit scene describing a relatively narrow stylistic realm, Olympia, Washington, has unearthed far more backyard talent than sociological statistics would suggest possible. Lync was one such band, a raucous local trio whose one album strikes a workable truce between the lazy sloping melodics of Pavement, the harsh rhythmic attack of Fugazi, the fun-with-noise indulgence of Sonic Youth and the gooey nuclear tweemelt of Superchunk. A lot of good ideas thrown around willy-nilly, These Are Not Fall Colors — not really good, but far from bad — is the kind of slackadaisical debut that raises more questions about the band’s intentions and abilities than it answers.
Adding little of use to the investigation, singer/guitarist Sam Jayne and Lync bassist James Bertram played on Beck’s One Foot in the Grave album just before recording their own. Lync broke up at the end of ’94, leaving its mysteries unsolved and unexplained. Jayne, however, devoted himself to Love as Laughter, a cute, modest basement lo-fi solo project in which songs rather than big, scary sounds are the point. On The Greks Bring Gifts, a cheap synth, occasionally fuzzy/occasionally tuned electric guitar, sporadic drumming and Jayne’s twinkiest power pop voice give vent to winsomeness and weirdness in a venture that’s equal parts Ween and Philistines Jr. “Keep Your Shade” and “The Youth Are Plastic” have the slapdash charm of an adolescent Jesus and Mary Chain cover band; “Uninvited Trumpets” is a catchy song pumped along by one-finger sequencer; “High Noon” could be a lost Buddy Holly number finally ricocheting back from Pluto. Other items are equally haphazard and amusing. You have been warned.