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The Zincs

Hometown � Chicago, Illinois


2003 � Moth and Marriage � (Ohio Gold)
2005 � Dimmer � (Thrill Jockey)

Chicago winters must be rough. British ex-pat and current Chicago resident Jim Elkington, lead singer and songwriter for the folky chamber-pop-cum-indie-rock band the Zincs, has a deep, weary baritone that makes every track on the Zincs’ new release, Dimmer, sound like a rallying cry for the apathetic. One can picture a dour-looking Brit looking out his window at the sleet and concrete, strumming dissonantly on his guitar, and writing lyrics like “Drink in the afternoon / Nothing’s going to happen soon.”

The richness and vibrato of his voice are similar to the timbre of another classic Midwestern depressive: Smog. But whereas Smog sometimes seems utterly self-absorbed and humorless, Elkington maintains a level of ironic distance from his misery that recalls a young, punky Lou Reed. Such whimsy is apparent on the last track off Dimmer, “Meager Prick.” At first Elkington claims, “Moving on I’ll throw no stones,” but then he spurs his romantic adversary to “Announce yourself, you meager prick.”

On the first record released under his Zincs moniker, Moth and Marriage, Elkington played every instrument himself. On Dimmer Nathaniel Braddock joins Elkington on guitar, Nick Macri is on bass, and Jason Toth is on drums. Dimmer hits stores on April 12th.