Rein Sanction

  • Rein Sanction
  • Broc's Cabin (Sub Pop) 1991 
  • Mariposa (Sub Pop) 1992 

Years after Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis introduced his pedal-driven, melancholic noise-guitar histrionics to indie rock, Rein Sanction’s Mark Gentry emerged from his Jacksonville, Florida basement with drummer/brother Brannon and bassist Ian Chase. Although hamstrung by the Dinosaur Jr comparisons, the trio nonetheless created two powerful albums before folding up in 1993.

Broc’s Cabin, produced by Shimmy-Disc honcho Kramer, revels in dense psychedelia, abundantly frenzied guitar and at least one song title — “Sasquatch” — that aptly describes the band’s style. Mark Gentry’s liberal use of wah-wah, distortion and envelope filter could also draw some comparisons to early Meat Puppets, but the blueprint here seems effectively Dinosaur-esque-pretty, sludgy and pretty sludgy.

Jack Endino twisted the knobs and slid the faders for Mariposa, but the band’s initial sound is roughly duplicated all the same. Mark’s voice is more plaintive here, even as the caterwauling trio drowns what few vocals exist. (Rein Sanction’s strength lies in its sprawling jams and expansive instrumental energy.) He’s not much of a vocalist and doesn’t have to be-his languid, overpowering guitar really sings, as the throwaway title “B-F#” might suggest. (The song itself, an acoustic-based jam with fluttering backward guitar riffs, is simple and a strong diversion from the group’s usual overdrive.) Despite such efforts at diversification and strong tracks like “Loaded Decision,” “Blow” and “Railway,” the inclusion of a live cover — Hendrix’s “Ain’t No Tellin” — possibly indicates Rein Sanction’s shortage of its own ideas.

[Mark Woodlief]