Simon Hinkler – Moving On (EP Review)

To the typical hipster, the name Simon Hinkler will surely sound unfamiliar; to the Gothic New Wave connoisseur, on the other hand, Hinkler is a pioneering icon in the Alternative music scene.

Born on November 13, 1959, in Sheffield, England, Guitarist/Songwriter/Producer Hinkler is notable for being the lead guitarist of the Gothic Rock band The Mission (“Butterfly on a Wheel”). He also became a member of Pulp (“My Lighthouse”) and The Eden House (“Timeflows”). However, as a proper solo act, his forthcoming EP will be his debut offering.

Scheduled to be released on Friday, September 7, 2018, on Correctitude Records, Hinkler’s maiden solo effort, titled Moving On, is a five-track taster of the enigmatic artist’s slightly eclectic but still prominently Gothic-dominated musical tendencies. It opens with the Eastern-influenced “It Isn’t You,” which cunningly whiffs off familiar echoes of The Mission’s “Serpent’s Kiss.” This is followed by a different beast – the Cabaret/Vaudeville-inspired, slow, orchestral ballad “Virginia” – alluring, mysterious, pensive.

Another change of style comes next in the form of “Friends,” whose rustic, playful, and carnival-esque aural canvas recalls similar adventurous excursions by David Bowie (“Little Bombardier”), The Beatles (“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”), The Damned (“Grimly Fiendish”), Captain Sensible (“Happy Talk”), and Frankie Goes to Hollywood (“Happy Hi”). The ensuing mid-tempo “What More Do We Know?” is another lovely throwback, but this time, forward to the glorious, glittery Britpop of the ’90s. It seems to be an intentional homage to Hinkler’s grandiose time with the quirky Jarvis Cocker and the rest of Pulp; it could have passed as a new Pulp single sung by Cocker himself!

Finally, Hinkler wraps up Moving On with the piano-led, starry-eyed, slightly dirge-like title track. Yes, that was it! Hinkler’s masterful stroke sounds so sweet and short, but which will definitely prompt the listener to press repeat over and over again while yearning for a proper full-length follow-up. CrypticRock gives Simon Hinkler’s Moving On, 5 out of 5 stars.

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